Published: October, 2014| Teresa M. Garvey, JD

Intimidation and manipulation are integral parts of every abuser’s arsenal of power and control. Intimidation may have prevented a victim from calling the police in the past, and once criminal charges have been filed, the level of intimidation and manipulation often ramps up as the abuser attempts to evade accountability. Where intimidation is successful in preventing the victim from testifying in court, the doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing can be used to admit the victim’s out-of-court statements. Where intimidation results in the victim’s recantation, minimization, or testimony for the defense, the prosecutor can use evidence of intimidation to charge additional offenses or to argue it as evidence of consciousness of guilt. This presentation focuses on minimizing opportunities for intimidation, recognizing it when it occurs, preserving evidence of intimidation, and using such evidence to successfully prosecute abusers.