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.
- 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
- help you attend the trial, eg by arranging child care or transport
- 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 can’t represent you or give you legal advice.
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:
- reading the guidance for 5 to 11 year olds
- reading the guidance for 12 to 17 year olds
- the Witness Service
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 won’t have to meet the defendant or their family and friends before the trial.
If there isn’t 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.