Going to court can feel like a scary and overwhelming experience.
The Court Support Program is a joint initiative between Victims of Crime SA and the Victim Support Service that will help you identify what level of support you might need, and puts you in touch with the right people.
How does it work?
Our office receives your request for court support. This might come from you, or from someone on your behalf.
We then review your needs and make a recommendation about the support options that might work best for you.
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.
For a lot of victims, going to court can still be overwhelming, even if you aren't considered a vulnerable victim.
The Victim Support Service's Court Volunteers are trained and have experience working with victims. They understand the needs of victims and witnesses who are required to attend court.
They can provide you with easy-to-understand information and support.
Court Volunteers can help victims who are required to attend District and Supreme Court trials.
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.