Trust is an essential component of eliciting an accurate account of abuse. Earning the trust of someone who has experienced torture or other forms of abuse requires active listening, meticulous communication, courtesy and genuine empathy and honesty. Clinicians must have the capacity to create a climate of trust in which disclosure of crucial, though perhaps very painful or shameful, facts can occur. It is important to be aware that those facts are sometimes intimate secrets that the person may reveal at that moment for the first time.
Clinicians should explain what to expect in the evaluation. The clinician should also be mindful of the tone, phrasing and sequencing of questions (sensitive questions should be asked only after some degree of rapport has been developed) and should acknowledge the interviewee’s ability to take a break if needed or to choose not to respond to any question.