Someone with you in court

A domestic abuse service, such as IDAS, may be able to arrange for someone go with you to court with you. With the permission of the Judge, they may be able to attend the hearing with you. This would need to be arranged in advance. Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) can attend court with you. You should let the Judge know if you would like an IDVA or ISVA to attend court with you and the IDVA or ISVA should make themselves known to the Judge.

An IDVA or ISVA may provide practical, emotional, or moral support. They may also provide assistance and support to engage with the court process as well as with out of court discussions. They can also help you when dealing with authorities or other support services.

IDVAs or ISVAs may not represent you or act as an agent for you. They also cannot manage the case outside court, for example by signing court documents.

IDVAs or ISVAs can not address the court, make oral submissions, or examine witnesses. An IDVA or ISVA does not have a right of audience or a right to conduct litigation.

Here is a link to Practice Guidance about IDVAs attending court with you.

IDVAs and ISVA Guidance (judiciary.uk)

Here is a link to Practice Direction issued in April 2023

PRACTICE DIRECTION 27C – ATTENDANCE OF IDVAs AND ISVAs (justice.gov.uk)