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The court process

This section gives a brief overview of what you can expect during the court process if you are a victim of a sexual offence.

For more information about how the court process works, including information about victim impact statements and sentencing, see The court process

Support at court

A specialist sexual violence court victim advisor or court victim advisor can help you during the hearing, like explaining how you can give evidence or helping you with your victim impact statement, which tells the court how the crime has affected you.

You can have a support person sit with you when you give your evidence. You can choose who this is.

Giving evidence

Special arrangements can be put in place for victims of sexual offences who are giving evidence in court. For example, you may be able to give your evidence:

If you are a victim of a sexual offence, the prosecutor should always speak to you about how you wish to give your evidence and make an application to the court for you to give your evidence in a different way if you want.

Your privacy

There are rules to protect your privacy if you are a victim in a sexual offence case. For example, when you give evidence, the court will be a “closed” court. This means that members of the public cannot be present.

The media are also not allowed to report the names and identifying details of victims in sexual offence cases.  

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