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New abuse victim guidelines

New guidelines for prosecutors on how to tackle cases involving child sexual abuse will help protect the most vulnerable victims, the CPS has said. The move comes as part of a series of government measures to aid victims of crime.

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Current vulnerable victim court protection measures

  • Children automatically receive special measures, such as giving evidence from behind a screen or giving it via video link, and these are available to other victims and witnesses at a court's discretion.
  • Although judges have the power to intervene to prevent overly aggressive cross-examination and character assassinations, there have been instances of victims being left traumatised after court cases.
  • There is no limit on the number of lawyers who can cross-examine a victim or witness, or on the amount of time they can be on the stand.
  • Victims and witnesses can also be required to discuss graphic details of crimes such as sexual abuse.

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