The Multidisciplinary Interview and Training Center (MITC) is a program of WISE. Founded in 2019 with STOP grant funding, MITC’s mission is to support victims/survivors and our community using innovative and survivor-centered practices to shift the response to gender-based violence within the criminal legal system and improve outcomes. MITC provides interviews to victims/survivors of gender-based violence in Windsor County, Vermont, builds capacity for effective law enforcement response to gender-based violence, and organizes and supports a cohort of experts in gender-based violence to provide testimony in cases throughout Vermont.
The Windsor County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Windsor County Special Investigative Unit (SIU), and the Woodstock and Hartford Police Departments are partners in the STOP grant. Our partnerships extend beyond these important collaborations as we work to comprehensively address the criminal legal system’s response to gender-based violence.
MITC provides interviews for victims/survivors of gender-based violence and others on a case-by-case basis. We prioritize making the experience as safe and comfortable as possible for people being interviewed. All of our interviewers are trained in the Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview (FETI) methodology. FETI interviewing is a forensic interviewing technique known to be effective at gathering accurate information about traumatic events.
FETI applies science to interviews. The methodology is designed to work with how our brains function, specifically when there has been trauma. Everything we do is meant to reduce stress, which increases people’s ability to remember and talk about their experiences. The interview prompts minimize misinformation and maximize what the person is able to share.
The interviews at MITC are set up to be as comfortable as possible and to minimize any stress you might feel. We know when someone experiences something frightening, stressful or traumatic, the way they remember it can be different from other memories. The questions you are asked are broad so you can share what you want and are able to talk about. We know that you might not have a complete memory but we are interested in whatever it is that you are able to share about your experience. People who have done interviews with us have described the experience as “healing” and “supportive.”
You do not have to prepare in any way for an interview other than to schedule a time. We want the process to be as stress-free as possible so do not hesitate to let us know how we can make that happen for you. Your experience matters.
As part of the interview process, we can connect you to advocacy if you are not already connected. Advocates from your local Network Against Sexual and Domestic Violence program can provide ongoing confidential support, help you access resources, and plan with you in ways that can increase your safety. You will have the option to have an advocate present at your interview if you would like.
For Law Enforcement
If you have responded to a domestic assault or are concerned about violence in a relationship, we are available for victim interviews. Our interviews are also appropriate for victims of stalking, trafficking, sexual violence, or other trauma. We primarily work with law enforcement in Windsor County, Vermont. If you are outside of the Windsor County area and are interested in our services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will not be able to immediately schedule an interview from an intake from elsewhere unless we have discussed it in advance. If you are in Windsor County it is easy to make a referral – simply click here to fill out our referral form or email us at email@example.com for a PDF or Word version. We will follow up to let you know if and when an interview will be scheduled. After an interview, we will give you and the State’s Attorney’s office copies of the recording and the associated notes.
MITC seeks to connect survivors to advocacy whenever possible. We support having an advocate present throughout the interview process as we know that having confidential support and access to safety planning is important.
There are numerous ways a MITC interview can be helpful for survivors. Our interviews tend to be longer and more in-depth than other interviews. The amount of time, minimizing stress and the methodology we use creates an opportunity to share more information, often information that may not have been previously available even to the survivor themselves. These details can be useful in criminal investigations, victim’s compensation applications, and civil court cases. (Please note that if there is an active criminal case, the interview will be shared with law enforcement and prosecution.)
If you have questions about our interviews or are interested in discussing whether an interview might be appropriate for someone you are working with, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many widely-held myths and misconceptions regarding the behaviors of victims/survivors of gender-based violence. Expert witnesses can provide accurate information to juries, judges and others who need to understand the realities in these cases. Experts are also helpful on community multidisciplinary teams, where their perspectives can ensure that informed decisions are made.
MITC is increasing the support and training of experts in domestic and sexual violence, stalking and trafficking in the State of Vermont. MITC works closely with AEquitas, a national resource for gender-based violence prosecution, to host trainings and provide guidance for our prosecutors and our ever-growing cohort of expert witnesses.
As an expert, you can use the knowledge you have gained by working with victims/survivors to help other people understand the dynamics of domestic and sexual violence. Experts can be helpful in criminal and civil cases by educating the factfinders in court, i.e., the jurors and judges, but they can also be helpful in multi-disciplinary teams and working with attorneys to understand victim behavior and build their cases.
The information that our community partners and factfinders need is usually focused on providing accurate information to counter the many myths and misunderstandings in our culture about gender-based violence. For example, the general public may not understand why victim/survivors might not report a crime right away, why they might only disclose some of the violence, or why they stayed with someone who abused them. Your experience can help.
If you would like to know more or be on the expert witness list in Vermont, please let us know at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
Expert witnesses are here to help you with your cases. We have a list of people from around Vermont who are experts in domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking. When these types of violence are part of a court case, experts with this content knowledge can be very useful in informing your case and helping judges and juries access accurate information.
Experts are available to give testimony in court and to help you understand victim behavior and the dynamics of the violence as it applies to your case. If you are interested in learning more about our work with experts, or are looking to access an expert for your case, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.