Experience of rape
Eve* gives an account of her experience of the support she received from our Witness Service and Victim Service throughout the court service and afterwards.
In 2014 I was raped, which left me shocked, scared and confused. When it first happened I got little support and felt like the best thing to do was to try to forget about the whole thing, which is easier said than done. Over the next year, my life turned to constant worry of another letter from the Procurator Fiscal of a court date. When I got a phone call saying he had pled not guilty and the trial was to go ahead it was one of the lowest points of my life – I panicked and was petrified.
But the Witness Service and Victim Service are one of the best services ever to help. Before any trial went ahead the Witness Service had me in the court for a visit and talked me through the court process; they showed me how the screen worked and how the court was set up. It was still really daunting but they put me at ease.
On the date of the trial the court I was in meant going through other offices which I was dreading. The Victim Information and Advice (VIA) officer and Witness Service team arranged to meet me to take me to the witness room. I was alone and felt at a loss but I had a supporter who stayed with me and gave me all the information and encouragement to stand in court; they also sat behind me and although they couldn’t speak or look at me it was a great comfort knowing I was not alone.
The whole court ordeal was very difficult and afterwards I needed some support which Victim Support offered, even after a positive verdict of guilty they supported me. It was the scariest time of my life and I can’t thank them enough for helping me through it.
*Name changed to preserve anonymity. Pictures are for illustrative purposes only.