Interpreters in Adult Victim Sexual Assault Cases

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June 1, 2011

The lack of properly trained and qualified court interpreters is a significant threat to fairness in the U.S. justice system. This issue is especially relevant for sexual assault cases and cases that involve the intersection of sexual assault and domestic violence. Court interpretation is a highly specialized skill with surprising subtleties, particularly for sexual assault cases. Most court interpreters lack training on sexual assault and domestic violence issues. Unqualified or unprofessional court interpreters can mislead both victims and judges through personal biases or intentional and/or unintentional misinterpretations.

It is essential that judges have an understanding of the critical role interpreters play in sexual assault cases. This curriculum covers several of the key elements a judge should consider when using an interpreter for a sexual assault case.

Faculty Manual (PDF)

PowerPoint Slides with Suggested Commentary

The download link above will download the PDF version of this presentation. To download the PowerPoint file, click here.

Case Study Exercise

Participant Handouts

Resources to Improve Court Interpreter Services in Adult Victim Sexual Assault Cases

Graphics for Reproducing this Module (.zip)

  • Violence Against Women and Girls
  • National Judicial Education Program


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