Knowing how to interview kids is a whole skill of its own, especially when they're in the middle of trying to recover from horrific trauma. That's where I come in. My job is called forensic acting, and it boils down to adult actors playing the part of abused children in order to coach police, attorneys, and social workers on how to interview kids about that kind of thing. It is also one of the creepiest jobs on Earth.
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This isn't me, but you get the idea.
Sound like a bit of a downer? It sure is! But I'm able to do it without downing my body weight in whiskey every night because I've got a dog in this fight: a few weeks after I got this job, my wife gave birth to a baby girl (daddy wasn't trying to call you a dog, honey. It's a metaphor. Also, daddy doesn't condone dog-fighting).
While every U.S. state has some type of child interview training program, my state (along with 18 others) participates in a national program called ChildFirst, which provides intensive workshops for any professional who might need to interview abused children. Is that a little weird for the cops and attorneys and social workers? Sure. And it's weird for the actor, too. This is not a gig you get to brag about at cocktail parties, because the details of your performance might make some people vomit up their cocktails.
Best to just tell people your job is to try to stay one step ahead of the police and leave them guessing.
So why go through all this trouble? Two reasons: to protect the kids and to keep innocent people from going to jail. See, there was this case -- the McMartin Preschool case -- in which 80 charges were filed against employees for Satanic ritual abuse that never actually happened. It later came out that police had been rewarding the kids who gave them the answers they'd already decided were "right." If you don't know what you're doing, the result can be too horrible to comprehend.