Chaperone and guidance within the criminal justice system
Chaperone service and Witness Service
The ISVA can chaperone (accompany you) to court and justice hearings, this is so you have someone you know with you. Obviously, you can have your partner, family or friends as support also.
The ISVA is there for you, to assist in procedure, provide information and help.
The ISVA has a professional, working partnership with the Witness Service at the court, CPS barristers and other agencies working within the court and justice process.
The ISVA can arrange a pre-court visit, with the Witness Service, prior to the hearing, this way you will be able to familiarise yourself with the surroundings.
The ISVA can arrange for ‘special measures’ to be available for you during the court justice hearing. These ‘special measures’ allow you to give your evidence from behind a screen – preventing the accused from seeing you whilst you speak. Sometimes you, or the accused may give evidence from a different location by video link. You may also be able to leave the court through a separate exit, should the need arise.
On the day of the court case your ISVA will meet you at the court if you wish and arrange for you to be seated in the witness room. The ISVA will at no time leave you unattended unless requested by yourself.
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
The ISVA can act on your behalf and contact the CPS and discuss your concerns and ask questions for you if you wish.
Or, the ISVA will accompany you to the CPS and give support whilst you have any questions or need information from the CPS.
Remember, your ISVA is there for you.
We can help you in the court & justice process
Depending upon the circumstances & when your case is ready for court, the local magistrates’ court may hear the charges and order the case to crown court. Or it may go straight to crown court.
Should the defendant (the person who assaulted you) plead guilty, then you need not attend court. A conviction without a jury will be set.
In cases where the defendant pleads not guilty, then the process for a full court hearing with a jury will begin.
The attacker may not plead guilty to all charges. If there is one or more than one charge, you must attend court justice hearings in cases were the defendant has pleaded not guilty
If you have any worries, doubts or fears, the ISVA, Witness Service and the CPS barrister will help you in any way they can.
The criminal justice system can often seem frightening and very detached. Asking questions and discussing procedures will help you deal with the whole process.