What do I do if I don’t want to face my violent ex partner in court?
Going to court can be difficult enough. It takes time to finally get to court which can mean constant worrying until the day arrives, and then went does, it can be a traumatic ordeal to face being questioned by your violent ex partner. If you find yourself in this position I hope that this article will offer you some advice on what to do.
The first piece of advice applies even before you get to court. Some courts offer separate waiting rooms. It’s true that facilities do vary, however its always a good idea to call the court and arrange a separate room.
The second thing is to remember that if you are representing yourself, you do have the right to take some support with you. For example a Mckenzie friend is someone you can take to court to support you. They can’t speak on your behalf but they can still be there for you.
Another piece of advice is to think about asking the court to put ‘special measures’ in place at the court hearing for you. This can include putting a screen to protect you from seeing your ex-partner or arranging for you to give evidence by video link from a discrete location. Special measures normally need to be arranged before any court hearings where you may face being questioned by your ex partner. So don’t leave it too late.
We are all aware of the impact that the cuts in legal aid has aid, but please remember that if you are the victim of domestic abuse, you may still qualify for legal aid and therefore may be able to get legal representation to support you even more.
Currently the rules in family courts victims to be cross examined by those who have caused them violence, however the current Justice Secretary Liz Truss has ordered an urgent review into the situation.