How Sexual Abuse Court Proceedings Differ From Other Legal Cases

GUEST POST | The topic of sexual abuse is not something that people want to talk about openly. As such, there is a lot of misinformation or confusion surrounding what happens during a sexual abuse case, especially from a legal sense.
A lot of the public gains their knowledge of court proceedings from T.V shows that are often dramatised. However, these cases rarely include such a sensitive subject. 

As a result, many victims of abuse, or their family members, are unsure about how to proceed during a case that goes to court, and that can make the situation feel even more intimidating. Therefore, this article will look at some fundamental parts of a trial like this, so you can be more informed about the process.

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Length Of The Process
The first thing that you will notice during a case of this magnitude is that it can take a long time for the trial to take place, even if the decision to move the case to court has been made. The reason for this is that a sexual abuse trial is an extremely serious case; therefore, both parties need to gather as much evidence as possible to make their case as solid as possible.

The maximum sentence for a person found guilty of such a serious crime ranges between fourteen years to life in prison, which is why courts must be thorough with their judgment. This means that the trial takes longer to prepare, which is why you may have to wait close to a year for a sexual abuse trial to start.

Pre-Trial Therapy
Sexual abuse is a traumatic event in someone’s life, and it can be extremely difficult for the victim to move on from the situation. Unfortunately, a lengthy trial can cause specific memories to resurface, causing the trauma to worsen. Most courts will allow the victim, and anyone affected by the case, to engage in pre-trial therapy. These therapy sessions aim to provide the victim with comfort and help them overcome the feelings associated with the abuse they have suffered. Sometimes, these therapy notes can be used in sentencing cases if the accused is found guilty.

Pre-trial therapy is nothing to be concerned about, and it is normal for these sessions to continue throughout the main trial. Its main purpose is to provide people with a comforting space away from what they have experienced.

Special Measures
There is a lot that special measures can refer to in a case like this, but be advised that you can ask for these at any time. The aim of these measures is to make the trial easier for the assumed victim, and they should be provided during all abuse claims. One such measure that can be requested is giving a pre-recorded testimony that will be played in court. This helps anyone to make a sexual abuse claim stay removed from any proceedings that may further their trauma, especially if the accused is present in the courtroom.

Another special measure that you can make when discussing the case with your sexual abuse solicitors is that any evidence you provide is given anonymously. This measure is put in place to protect anyone related to the victim, and you can learn more about sexual abuse compensation cases at Hugh James. This company can also brief you on some other special measures that you can request during a case of this nature.

Of course, the most important special measure in a sexual abuse case, especially one of child abuse, is anonymity. It is normal for most criminal trials to be made public, which means that journalists and other members of the public can openly report on what happens during a court case. However, due to the sensitive nature of what is discussed during an abuse case like this, all children’s identities are kept anonymous. In fact, it is illegal in the UK for anyone in the press to leak or report the details of any child that is the victim of an abuse case. This anonymity should cover the child from the moment the crime is reported to a member of the police, and should continue after the case has concluded.

Once the trial has concluded, the defendant will receive a verdict of guilty or not guilty. In either case, the victim will continue to receive therapy due to the 
stressful nature of the events discussed. The anonymity of anyone will remain in place, no matter the verdict. However, a guilty defendant may also have certain privileges revoked in the future as well as serving a prison sentence.

It is understandable that anyone who must face something as traumatic as a sexual abuse case will have plenty of questions. The important thing to remember is that there is always help out there when you need it. The legal system is designed to aid anyone with the trauma that comes with a sexual abuse trial.

What other ways do they differ?

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