All things considered, to be the victim of a crime be it sexual assault, battery, mugging, kidnapping, extortion, identity fraud or blackmail is very difficult. The experience is harrowing enough in itself.
The idea of getting justice after being victimized is often painted as a balm to the pain and aggravation caused by an injustice committed against you but anyone who has been through the journey will confess that it is not what it is touted to be.
The search for justice is just as excruciating as the crime and in most instances can be even more painful than the attack.
This is because the journey to justice is a long arduous process and the only comfort that a victim can take in the journey is that the perpetrator may no longer be a danger to them if they are incarcerated.
Even this may be a putrid victory, especially where crimes cost a life or cause grievous harm that forever changes the lives of the victims.
The court and the overall justice system are however the only true recourse available and when properly applied, victims can return some measure of normalcy to their lives.
The courtroom is a judicious place and hardly the place to attend dressed in a manner that does not fit the atmosphere.
Even judges have a code of dressing which means naturally there is an acceptable way to present yourself in court whether as a victim, an attorney, a juror, or a spectator.
What Should You Wear To Court As A Victim?
At all times, we are constantly judging everyone else based on what they are wearing, and rightly so because as individuals, we also consider our own outfits and what they say about us before we step out of our homes.
First impressions are a big part of how we regard others. In court, this matters just as much and in an environment where the players relate on a purely professional level, it is best to come off as respectful and prudent.
The court must regard you and conclude that you appreciate the intensity and the seriousness of the matters being undertaken in the courtroom.
Useful Tips On How To Pick An Outfit For Court
As the victim, a great deal of attention will be paid to you at least in the early days of the trial so try to follow the following guidelines:
- Pick a Suit
A suit is universally seen as the respectable dress for official atmospheres such as court. It dictates that professional conduct and civility are mandatory. Suits whether a pantsuit or a skirt suit repackage an individual and is the best dress to pull focus away from other attributes such as your gender, and race and focus them on the matter at hand.
Suits also form a shield around you as a victim such that you do not appear powerless and subdued. They imbue a sense of self-assuredness which is in dire need when facing the culprit and reliving episodes of harrowing experiences.
- Choose the Duller Colors
Black, blue, tan, grey, and fitting combinations of these colors with just a touch of a white or cream blouse or dress shirt is the best way to present yourself in court as a victim.
Once again these colors allow everyone in the room to focus on the matter at hand and not on you as a woman, a man, a Caucasian or Asian etcetera.
- Keep Your Hair Neat and Modest
Regardless of what you intend to look like in your daily life, the court is a different place and you should appear dignified and toned down. Your hair is a big part of what people see when they look at you since it frames the face.
Green and orange dyes with purple accents and chopstick hair clips are no way to present yourself as a victim in the courtroom. Take time to redo your hair if it is flashy and attention-grabbing.
There is no need to cut it or anything so drastic but you may have to consider recoloring it to normal hues and tying it at the back.
Whatever you settle on, you must ensure that as the victim you do not appear to have a disregard of the proceedings as though you do not even grasp the gravity of the crimes committed against you yet everyone else does.
- Avoid Makeup
For court at least, lay off the makeup and present yourself modestly. Unless makeup is used to cover up bruising and injuries, avoid it.
Showing up in bold lipstick colors and blushes is not a respectable way to attend court, especially as the victim.
Makeup that is used to hide injuries is a good idea. While it may seem like the best play to let injuries show, often this may work against you if the jurors decide that your appearance prejudices the case in your favor.
This could get even worse if both you as the victim and the perpetrator have injuries. The best evidence of injury should be left to photographic evidence and the testimony of the relevant individuals who attended to you.
- Keep Jewelry to a Minimum.
Jewelry can have both sentimental and cosmetic value. Sentimental pieces are acceptable such as wedding rings, pendants, and lockets. Modest cosmetic pieces like small earrings are fine but jewelry that calls attention to it is not recommended.
Large audacious rings and necklaces can prejudice the jury against you because you appear to care for your appearance more than you do the case which is a detrimental assumption if made about you.
- Do Not Dress in Casual Wear.
As the victim of a crime, the court is a very sensitive place and you must be taken seriously enough to warrant the time and effort of trial. Casual wear such as jeans and t-shirts say that you don’t take your own case seriously enough.
Some judges will go as far as to save you from yourself and dictate the mode of dress before proceedings continue further so as not to ruin the chances of a just outcome.