Alex* was a victim of sexual abuse as a child while in care. Alex suffered from mental illness as a result of his experiences and needed significant emotional support when the case went to court.
When Alex was referred to Victim Support, he was preparing to attend court where he would need to provide evidence, as the person charged with the crime had not entered a guilty plea.
Due to Alex’s mental illnesses, the police asked Victim Support to speak with him to see if he would like support to help him cope with the impact of the crime and to enable him to provide his best evidence at the trial.
When he was first due to meet with his case worker, Alex was unable to fully participate due to his severe anxiety and distress. His caseworker continued to meet with him regularly, providing Alex with a safe space and building trust with him.
Alex was supported by his case worker and officers from the Incident Homicide and Sexual Exploitation Unit at the trial. They worked closely with The Witness Service who were exceptional in helping Alex and allowing his case worker to support him throughout the court process.
Victim Support also spoke with the trial judge, who agreed to let Alex’s case worker sit close to him while he was providing evidence while also allowing Alex regular comfort breaks throughout the process.
Alex’s case worker was able to help him by liaising with the police, the Witness Service, Alex’s GP, the Crown Prosecution Service and his housing association, which meant he focus his energy on going through the trial and provide his best evidence, while knowing his various needs outside of this were being dealt with.
Following the trial, the perpetrator was sentenced to 14-years in prison and placed on the sex offenders register for life after being found guilty. Victim Support continued to support Alex afterwards, by helping him claim compensation as a result of social services admitting liability for Alex being abused while in care.
After the trail, Alex said: “I can’t believe I did it, thank you so much for helping me”.
*Alex’s real name has been replaced with a pseudonym to protect his identity