For victims of rape and sexual abuse the court process can often be the most traumatising part of their journey, from not fully understanding the court process to potentially having to come face to face with the alleged perpetrator.
For that reason and after feedback received from a service provider following their involvement in a Winston Churchill Fellowship to Australia, it has been agreed that the three North East Police and Crime Commissioners (Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria), will jointly develop and deliver a DVD that can be used by victims/witnesses to assist them in understanding the court process, and to understand the different roles that people play in court i.e. Judge, Crown Prosecutor, Defence etc.
It is hoped the DVD will diminish any uncertainty for victims/witnesses attending court keeping them engaged in the criminal justice process. The DVD can be used in advance/to complement the services that are already in place for victims/witnesses when attending court including pre-trial visits and special measures.
The production of such DVD has the support of many partners across the North East including, Citizens Advice Bureau Witness Service, CPS North East, North East Crown Courts and specialist service providers across all three PCC areas, including the Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs).
The funding provided supports the North East Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy which was launched in 2013.