You can apply for Special Measures so that you don’t have to see your perpetrator in court. This can either be behind a screen (where you will not be able to see the defendant or the public gallery), or via video link. The video link is in a separate room within the court and is shown on screens within the court room. The defendant will be able to see this, however you will not see them or the public gallery. The defendant also cannot communicate with you via the video link.
2. Do I have to be there for the whole trial?
No, and it is generally discouraged. Attending the rest of the trial in the public gallery can also undermine the need for Special Measures so your investigating officer can update you as the trial progresses instead. You can also discuss options with your ISVA nearer the time about how you wish to be kept updated.
3. Can I watch the verdict?
Yes, however it is uncommon and your officer will notify you of the verdict immediately anyway.
4. Who can come into the courtroom with me?
Anyone can sit in the public gallery, although there is not always a lot of space for seating. It is important to remember that whoever you bring for support will hear the evidence. Your family/friends can wait in a private room if you do not wish for them to hear your evidence. Additionally, your ISVA can sit with you behind the screen whilst you give your evidence for support.
5. Can I leave as soon as I’ve given my evidence?
Yes. Your ISVA can liaise with the court staff to ensure a safe exit from the court.