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Stop Violence Against Women

Preparing for Court


Whether you have a lawyer or not, it may be helpful to do some work in advance of your court hearing. To prepare for your first appearance or any other court hearings that may follow, you may want to:


  • Hire a lawyer
  • Apply for legal aid if you can't afford a lawyer
  • Re-read all the documents (a copy of your statement) you may have involving the incident and investigation
  • Organize your thoughts by writing down why you are going to court, a list of the issues you hope to settle (child support and access, for example) your position on each issue, and what you want the judge to order
  • Prepare a detailed outline of what you think the judge needs to know to come to a good and fair decision
  • Collect any other documents you think you may need in court
  • Contact witnesses who saw the abuse or your injuries (family, friends, children, ER nurse and/or doctor, police etc.)
  • Get evidence and documentation of the abuse
  • Practice telling your story and make notes
  • If you made any notes at the time of the assault give a copy to your lawyer
  • Go over the events in your mind and try to place them in order. Make sure you remember the date, time and place of the assault
  • You can arrange a meeting with the Crown Prosecutor before the trial
  • Let the Crown Prosecutor know ahead of time if you need a translator or an interpreter
  • Be educated on policies and procedures of the court room
  • Make a list of questions you may have for your lawyer
  • Arrange for child care during your time in court


To give you a better understanding of all that is involved in preparing for court this virtual courtroom may help you tremendously!

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© 2019 Stop Violence Against Women, All rights reserved.

This site is not intended to replace the need for counselling. The information provided is intended to inform the viewer, giving information to help you be informed to make the best decision possible for you and your family. Please, always seek professional help and legal advice if you find yourself in an abusive situation.