If you have been a victim of crime and have to give evidence at court, or if you want to observe the court case, there are number of help and support available to you. Giving evidence in court can be both distressing and frightening; however, it can also be an empowering and positive experience. The following are a few tips to help you through any legal proceedings:
- Questions about your involvement in the trial: these can be answered by the Prosecuting Officer whose name should appear on your court summons paper.
- Questions about the courtroom, court procedures and information: contact the Victim Support Service run by the Attorney Generals Department located near the reception area of most court buildings.
- Support in the courtroom: unless the trial is in a ‘closed’ court, you can take a friend or family member with you to court or ask for a court companion. This person must sit in the back of the courtroom and cannot assist you when you give your evidence.
- Victim impact statements: these are voluntary written or oral statements made to the court outlining the physical, emotional, psychological and financial impact that the offence has had on you. This statement is not private and can be viewed by the judge, offender, solicitors and others in the courtroom. The Prosecutor or Victim Support Service can help you with this.
- Victim notification registry: this registry notifies a victim as to the progress of an offender for as long as they are under the control of the Department of Corrective Services. Applications may be made online via the Department of Corrective Services website in each state.
For additional information, please click on the links below to access the brochure and fact sheet about how you can prepare for a court case: