At present, A.S.S.C. provides onsite court accompaniment services in the Dublin region only. It is available to all young people who are victims of crime and/or a witness to a crime.
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Court Accompaniment – Dublin – Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ)
A.S.S.C. provides onsite court accompaniment services in the Dublin region for all young people who are victims of crime and/or a witness to a crime. We are located in the Victim Support Area of the Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ).
We provide this support in three stages during a criminal trial.
- Pre-trial support
- Accompaniment support during the trial
- Post-trial support
Phone: 087 993 7392 and leave a message.
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This service is offered to all young people and their families who are a witness in a criminal trial. Before court proceedings, we spend time with the young person(s) and their families, showing them around the courthouse and explaining the process. This time is spent viewing the victim support area, video link room, and an empty courtroom. This allows the young person(s) and their families to ask any questions about the trial and get a better understanding of what to expect. This is an excellent opportunity for the young person and family to alleviate any situational anxiety around visiting the courthouse. Which is not a place most people expect to be in their lifetime. This pre-trial meeting helps relieve a lot of worry for young people and their families. All of this allows families to put a framework in their minds around their upcoming trial.
A.S.S.C. will provide onsite accompaniment for children who need to view their DVD statement. This is sometimes done in the days before their trial, and can be supported by one of our team. This allows the child to be reminded of the evidence they provided the Garda during their specialised interview. It also allows them to be prepared when viewing themselves from some years back. This can add to their anxieties and the unfamiliar situation they are in.
Accompaniment support during the trial
During court proceedings, young people and their families are supported emotionally and practically by an A.S.S.C. onsite volunteer. We aim to provide specialised support to alleviate as much distress as possible. The young person and family will have a safe area to sit while they wait to testify. If they wish to sit and watch proceedings, they will be provided with an onsite volunteer. The young person and their family are accompanied throughout the trial. As well as providing emotional and practical support we will also explain legal terminology and processes to them; staying with and facilitating them in what they may need for the duration of the trial.
We also provide post-trial support. This differs from family to family as it is dictated by the outcome of the trial and what each family needs. Some families have waited a considerable length of time to come to court. When the legal process is over some families may wish to close the door on this episode of their life. Others wish to be there for sentencing and want further accompaniment or want support while the young person reads out their victim impact statement. Other families sometimes need added support with an acquittal outcome; phone support will be given in this circumstance. Sometimes we find that the court process can bring up some emotional trauma for people and they may look to re-engage with therapy. We can help with a referral to appropriate agencies.
Court Accompaniment – Outside Dublin of the Dublin Region
A.S.S.C. does not provide onsite court accompaniment support outside of the Dublin region. Although we aim to, as a new charity this will take time. If you or a family member are due to testify outside of Dublin, we can provide you with ongoing phone support, through our Advocacy Phone Support. So please let us know and we will do what we can to help you along your journey.
Outside of the Dublin region, we can provide support to young people and their families via telephone (or on-site if resources allow).
Phone: 087 993 739 and leave a message
If you are a professional working with a young person outside of the Dublin region and feel that there is a need for our service in your area, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org