Speaking to HBA Survivors: Arranging an Interview
Arranging An Interview
Provide as much advance notice as possible – safely arranging an interview with a HBA/harmful practice survivor can take time, from confirming an appropriate location to speak/take a call, arranging a chaperone, and providing a briefing, so do provide as much notice as possible.
Provide interview questions/topics to be discussed – this allows the survivor time to prepare, feel better informed and more comfortable, as well as allowing them to consider any issues around identification and security in advance, so they can be highlighted to the journalist.
Don’t pressurise survivors to waive their anonymity – If a survivor asks not to be identified, respect this decision, particularly as it will usually be to safeguard themselves and their family. If a survivor does want to be identified, ensure they are fully aware of where their story may be shared (through syndication/lifting etc) and the potential repercussions. If possible, work with an organisation or charity to make sure they receive as much support as possible during the process.
Ask about risks and security issues – the interviewee may not always raise security and identification issues proactively, but in the case of HBA and harmful practices you should always anticipate that they may exist. Ask if the survivor wishes to be identified, if they would like to use their full name, first name only or a pseudonym, check if their location, job, or other identifying factors are ok to be included. If they are supported by an organisation like Savera UK, it may be appropriate to check these with their communications team as well.
Ask about boundaries – Before interviewing check with the survivor if any topics are triggers or off-bounds, to avoid any upset or discomfort.