Help for young witnesses
Don't suffer in silence if you're worried about going to court.
Being a witness can make anyone feel worried, stressed, anxious or unsettled. Even professionals such as lawyers, police officers and other experts can find it suprisingly challenging to give evidence. So it's no surprise that going to court can be challenging for lots of young people too.
You may have lots of questions that need to be answered. We created our Witness Service to support people who have to give evidence. The person who has asked you to be a witness will be able to put you in touch with your local Witness Service or you can find them on this website.
If you're a young witness, the court can do things to help make the experience easier for you - such as using TV links or screens so that you don't have to see the offender face-to-face in the courtroom. We can help to arrange this kind of help for you.
Who goes to court?
If someone breaks the law or the police think that they may have broken the law, and there's enough evidence to prove that they did it, that person will have to go to court.
A trial will take place so the court can decide if the person did or didn’t break the law. The court needs witnesses like you to describe what you've seen or heard to help them decide if someone is guilty of the crime.
Why do I have to go to court?
Because you witnessed the incident, you may have heard or seen something important and that is why the court needs you to give evidence, or let them know what you saw.
Being a witness can sometimes make you feel nervous or scared, but remember that you are not alone. There may be other witnesses who have to attend court too.
What do I have to do at court?
All you have to do at court is tell the truth. You just have to say exactly what you remember seeing, hearing or happening. The court is not there to judge you, you have not done anything wrong, and the court simply wants you to help.
Will it help if I talk to someone?
Whatever your worries are, someone is always there to listen. We are here for you. When you are feeling stressed or worried the best thing to do is talk to someone. It will definitely help you a lot!
Sometimes it can take a long time for the day of the trial to come, so at times you may feel that you don’t want to be a witness. Don’t worry! It is natural to feel like that.
Get help now!
You can contact your local Witness Service for help, or for further information please visit our separate website for young victims. You can also phone your local Victim Support branch or our national Victim Supportline for more information. The Supportline can also put you in touch with your local witness service branch.