For many, attending Court can be a very nerve wracking experience whether represented or unrepresented. All parties should attend Family Court Hearings so orders are not made against them and this experience for those having to face their partners who in some cases have been violent towards them.

Victims and witnesses will have their experience of going to court made easier through a number of new waiting rooms.

In many courts, traditionally victims and witnesses are asked to wait in sparse, unfriendly surroundings. So HM Courts & Tribunals Service has invested money in victim and witness waiting rooms courts across the country – making a number of changes including the addition of children’s toys.

Research conducted with court users has shown that small changes such as these can make the court experience less intimidating for some of the 156,000 victims and witnesses who give evidence each year – particularly children and the vulnerable.

The court process can be a traumatic experience for victims and any attempt to make this environment less impersonal and more comfortable is most definitely a positive step.

It is hoped the rooms can provide a change for victims and hope they will assist victims and witnesses to have a better experience of the court process.

Giving evidence in court can be a difficult and stressful experience so it is crucial that witnesses are supported to perform their invaluable role.

Small changes to make waiting areas more comfortable can make big differences to a witness’s experience – providing a welcoming space for child witnesses is particularly important.

This is on top of a range of measures the Government has put in place to help reduce the anxiety of attending court, including giving evidence behind a screen and the use of a registered intermediary.

Help

If you are attending Court and require assistance or a legal representative please do not hesitate to contact a member of the family team to discuss further. You can reach us on 011205 311511.

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