Court Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA)

The role of the IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advisor) is to support the victim when their abuser has been charged. Going to court as a witness and potentially having to see the person who abused you can be frightening and intimidating. This service helps women to overcome anxiety and worries about going to court.

At SAFE we understand that giving evidence against your (ex) partner can be an extremely stressful and daunting affair. Pre conceived ideas are often founded upon television portrayal. However, this is not always accurate. We work with you on a personal level to make you feel as relaxed as possible in the courtroom. 

Our IDVA worker will meet with you before the case goes to court, be there in court with you on the day and give you as much or as little support you feel you need. This includes showing you around the courtroom so you can feel more at ease with giving evidence and know what to expect during the proceedings.

IDVAs will also talk to you about various options about moving forward such as how to access our Pattern Change course and our outreach services which would be of benefit to both you and your children. 

What are victims and professionals saying about this service?

“After my husband was charged I was assigned a court IDVA, Debbie. Debbie came to meet me at my home and talked me through everything that would happen. She organised a court visit with me which involved seeing the court where I would be giving evidence and an explanation of where I would stand in relation to my husband. She applied for a restraining order on my behalf, which was granted and she has since supported me at court. Debbie has been really supportive during every contact I have had with her and really helped me deal with a difficult time in my life, professionally and compassionately. If I had to rate the service I received I would give it 10/10.”  - Anon, Service user.

“The court IDVAS are worth their weight in gold….we are reliant on them.” - Witness service manager

They are excellent. There would be significantly fewer prosecutions without their support” - CPS prosecutor

‘Court IDVAs are very good at keeping victims in the criminal justice system, then the outcomes allow us (the police) to keep those victims safe’ – police Det Supt domestic abuse lead. 

‘The Court IDVAs, in my view, provide an invaluable service.  Not only do they provide essential support to victims, who will often be traumatised just thinking about being in the same room as their abuser, but also in the very practical way they assist the criminal justice system to make informed decisions on these often complex cases’ - MARAC Chair


Photo credit to Lucy Holding Photography