Going to court can feel like a scary and overwhelming experience.
Victim-survivors of crime and abuse, and prosecution witnesses, who are giving evidence in the District or Supreme Courts may be able to access support at court through the Court Companion Program, run by the Victim Support Service.
Call 1800 842 846 (toll free) or email email@example.com.
You can make a referral for yourself, or someone you know by accessing the online application form.
Other types of support
Witnesses and victims of the most serious crimes will be directed to the Witness Assistance Service, provided by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
A Witness Assistance Officer (WAO) is a professional social worker who has experience working with vulnerable victims.
A WAO is usually allocated to:
- children and young people
- victims with an intellectual disability
- victims of sexual offences
- domestic and family violence
- victims of serious violence, harm or assault
- families involved in a fatality.
They can give you more information about your rights and responsibilities in the court case. They will explain more about the criminal legal process and can take you to court beforehand to familiarise yourself.
These services are also available to victims living in regional areas like Port Augusta, the Riverland and Mount Gambier.
You might feel okay about going to court. You might want to be as self-sufficient as possible while giving your evidence, but would still like someone to go with you.
In these cases, you might like to take along a family member or friend who can support you.
This person must not be a witness or involved in the trial.
We've put together some helpful tips for those who are undertaking this role.