Child abuse is a global issue that is also included in the targets in the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goal by 2030).
To support interviewers in the official institutions who are struggling against this problem, we are developing and providing Avatar Training as an approach to establish a continuous interviewer training.
Avatar Training is a training protocol that provides the opportunity to practice child sexual abuse interviews using avatars that behave based on how children have responded to the same type of questioning in previous research on children’s memory and suggestibility.
The Avatar Training includes avatars that are different in age (4 and 6 years), gender (women and men), and the presence or absence of abuse. This has an answer selection algorithm based on the empirical literature of the relationship between question types (e.g., invitations, facilitators) and the contents of the child avatar's answer.
During training, the operator coded the questions asked by the interviewer to one of the question types, and the answer selection algorithm process then automatically selected and provided the avatar's responses contained in a video clip.
An operator coding the questions is needed to perform the Avatar Training. The operator can provide an interviewer training under both face-to-face and remote conditions using the applications.
The development of Avatar Training began as an international collaborative project centered on Abo Academi University in Finland. Currently, a collaborative partnership is established among countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, China, Italy, and Japan.
Experimental studies that validate the Avatar Training have been conducted in various countries. They have shown the consistent improvement of interviewing skills, such as the increase of the proportion of open-ended questions during the interview with the avatar.
For institutions considering implementation of the Avatar Training
Please contact me for more information and the implementation of the Avatar Training.
Booking Avatar Training (currently available only in Japan)
We are currently providing a free trial of remote training in Japan. Contact me for the free trial for other countries.