Source: (2006) Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work. 21(1): pg. 59-70.

Researching sensitive topics is critical to understanding women’s lives. However, this research often carries the risk of retraumatization and exploitation. This article examines the development of a sensitive-topic interview protocol that sought to minimize harm and to gain reliable and valid data by using principles from feminist methods and theory, and restorative justice. The development of the protocol is examined and its effectiveness is explored in a postinterview survey of family members of capital offenders. The data indicate that the methods minimized harm and that the protocol resulted in a robust understanding of the participants’lived experience from their perspectives.