Specialist Domestic Abuse Court (SDAC)

Service profile

The Specialist Domestic Abuse Court (SDAC) was introduced to make it easier for people who have experienced domestic abuse to:

  • come forward/access the criminal justice system
  • to improve victim’s experience of the court process
  • to increase the proportion of successful outcomes.

The SDAC at Thames Magistrates operates a remand and sentencing court every Thursday. The SDAC at Stratford Magistrates operates Domestic Abuse trial courts every Monday and Tuesday.

Key features of the Specialist Domestic Abuse Court

  • Specially trained Court Personnel
  • Specially trained Prosecutors and Police who have a good awareness of the key features around domestic abuse
  • Special Measures are put in place to improve the safety and experience of victims, such as separate entrances, exits and waiting areas. This is to ensure that victims do not come into contact with their attackers
  • Tailored support and advice for victims are available from Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA’s).

Effective case management and information sharing is practiced across a range of agencies to reduce delays in the prosecution process, and to increase successful outcomes within the court process. Measures for victims and witnesses to claim their expenses back if they are required to attend court are also available.

Victims and witnesses are also given the opportunity to have a pre court visit organised through the Witness Service. This allows them to see what happens during a trial and to also request safety measures for their trial day.

Referral procedures

The service is only offered to victims and witnesses who are attending Thames or Stratford Magistrates Court in relation to domestic abuse criminal proceedings.

For any further information, please contact:

Tel: 020 7364 1653 or 07950 848 159

Thames Magistrates Court

58 Bow Road
E3 4DJ

Stratford Magistrates Court
389-397 High Street
E15 4SB