The lack of remote sites in the UK means many young victims and witnesses still have to go to court to give evidence. This is a frightening and intimidating prospect – particularly given that they risk bumping into their abuser.
Victoria’s* daughter Iris* had to give evidence against her abuser Alex* at court due to a lack of remote sites:
“We were determined to ensure Iris didn’t have to see Alex, constantly being on our guard during the long hours waiting to give evidence. Alex and his supporters had been intimidating us since his arrest and we were all nervous about seeing him.
Despite our efforts, the lack of separate entrances meant that we saw Alex and his supporters outside the court when returning from getting Iris some lunch. Seeing Alex devastated Iris, she became much more nervous and stressed. She wasn’t in a fit state to give her best evidence.”
Victoria is clear that being able to give her evidence from a remote site would have helped Iris, and prevented her being so traumatised by the process.
“Iris’ court experience felt like a second abuse. One of the worst parts is knowing there are things that could have improved Iris’ experience and avoided the trauma she experienced bringing her abuser to justice. If she had been able to give evidence from a remote location via a video link, she would not have seen Alex and been forced to relive the abuse and intimidation he subjected her to.”
Please support our e-petition, calling on the Government to ensure there is at least one remote site in each region so that more children can give evidence away from court.
*Names have been changed to protect identity