Going to court as a victim or witness

Help and support in the court

You can contact the Citizens Advice Witness Service before you go to court. They can also give you help and support during the trial.

Getting support on the day

The police will pass your details to a Witness Care Officer who can support you throughout the trial, whether you’re giving evidence or not.

They will:

  • let you know the date of the trial and where it will take place
  • arrange for you to visit the court before the trial starts, so you know what to expect
  • give you advice about attending the trial and help you with any concerns you have
  • arrange for someone to go with you into the courtroom if you need it

The court will provide an interpreter if you’ve asked for one. They can translate what happens during the hearing but they cannot represent you or give you legal advice.

Child witnesses

Talk to the police or child witness care officer if you have concerns about your child. For example, if they’ll need to take breaks or any help giving evidence.

Read the full guidance on how to prepare your child for court and special measures that are available.

Your child can get support and find out what to expect at court from:

Waiting to be called

If you’re a victim or prosecution witness there should be a separate room where you can wait.

This is so you will not have to meet the defendant or their family and friends before the trial.

If there is not a separate area, speak to court staff - they can make sure you’re safe.

If anyone tries to intimidate you, tell your solicitor or court staff - they’ll report it to the police.