Support for victims of crime
Victims of crime can get support from community-based organisations, consisting of mostly volunteers and a small number of professional staff. These organisations provide emotional and practical support to victims of crime and their families in Ireland.
They also provide information about your rights as a victim, represent your interests and raise public awareness about victim issues.
The Gardai and other organisations may refer you to your nearest organisation providing support.
The following are some of the specialist services that are provided.
Victim Support at Court (VSAC) provides court accompaniment for victims of crime, their families and witnesses, regardless of the type of criminal offence. It provides information on the court setting, including vists to the the court, before the trial and assistance and support during the trial process. Further information is available on the VSAC website.
CARI provides accompaniment and support to children and their families when children have to give evidence in a criminal trial, irrespective of the offence. They also provide accompaniment to children and their families when they have to attend for a forensic examination at the Child and Adolescent Sexual Assault Treatment Service in Galway. Further information is available on the CARI website.
Advocates for Victims of Homicide (AdVIC) provides support for families and friends of the victims of murder or manslaughter. It provides information and assistance, including referral to appropriate services. It also provides a counseling service. Further information is available on the AdVIC website.
Rape Crisis Centres provide support to victims of rape and all forms of sexual violence. Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) is the representative body for Rape Crisis Centres. It has published a range of publications including, Guide to the legal process for survivors of sexual violence (pdf) and Legal information pack for practitioners advising survivors of sexual violence (pdf). RCNI has also developed a website, rapecrisishelp.ie, where you can find information on the support and choices available to survivors of sexual violence.
The Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) provides support and assistance to visitors to Ireland who are victims of crime through such things as access to telephone and email facilities, interpreting and contacting embassies, Gardaí and other agencies. Further information is available on the ITAS website.
Where to apply
The Gardai and other organisations may refer you to your nearest organisation providing support. You can also contact the Crime Victims Helpline for information about all services available to victims of crime. The Commission for the Support of Victims of Crime provides information on services on its website.