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Court support for victims of crime

Going to court can be stressful especially if you do not understand the legal process.

Knowing what you need to do, where you can get help and what is expected of you will reduce that stress.

If you have been a victim of an offence that has been referred to the Mental Health Court, some information below may not be relevant to your circumstances. Please contact Queensland Health Victim Support Services for information and advice.

Going to court as a witness

If you have seen or know about a crime, the information you give in court will help the judge, magistrate or jury decide what happened and what should be done. Your evidence is important.

Support during the court process

The Victim Coordination Program helps victims of violent crime through the court process. This can include referring you to agencies that may be able to give you practical support.

This can include:

  • helping you prepare for court
  • going to court with you
  • explaining what happens in court.

Contact Victim Assist

Search for a support service in your area.

Understanding how the courts work

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions acts for the State, taking legal action against people charged with criminal offences

These cases are heard in the District, Supreme, Mental Health courts, the Court of Appeal, High Court of Australia and some cases in the Magistrates Court.

As a victim of crime, you can expect government officers and victim service agencies, including the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, to follow the Charter of Victims' Rights..

These principles include:

  • treating victims with courtesy, compassion and respect
  • limiting the contact a victim has with the offender in court
  • telling a victim about their rights
  • explaining what is required of a  witness
  • letting a victim tell the court about the harm done to them—making a victim impact statement.

Read more about:

Victim impact statements

If you are the victim of a violent crime you can tell the court how the crime has affected you.

There are 3 ways to do this.

  • The prosecutor can speak to the court on your behalf.
  • The prosecutor can call you as a witness where you can tell the court about the crime.
  • You can make a written victim impact statement—you may have the chance to read this out to the court.

The written victim impact statement can explain how the crime has harmed you and affected your life. It can:

  • include supporting documents like medical reports, photographs or drawings
  • be written by someone else on your behalf if you can’t write it yourself.

See A Guide for Victims of Crime in Queensland for more information about going to court or writing a victim impact statement.

You do not have to make a victim impact statement if you don’t want to—this will not affect how the offender is sentenced.

Support after the offender is sentenced

Victims register

If the offender has been sentenced to prison or to a correction centre, you are entitled to apply for information about their sentence.

This can include:

  • details of the prison or correction centre where they are held
  • their security classification
  • when they apply for parole
  • when they are eligible for release.

You must be on a victims register to get this information.

There are 2 information registers depending on the age of the offender:

Other legal services

Youth justice conferencing

A youth justice conference is one sentencing option which a magistrate may order. It is only for offenders aged under 17.

A youth justice conference is attended by those affected by the crime including the victim (if they choose to attend), police, and the young person’s family, teacher, guidance officer or other support person.

A youth justice conference lets the victim tell the young person how they feel and how the crime has affected them.

It also gives the young person a chance to take responsibility for what they have done.

Justice mediation

Sometimes a face-to-face meeting between the offender and the victim can help.

This is called justice mediation.

It is voluntary and free. All information is kept private.

More information

Quick exit to

Contact Victim Assist

Complete our online information request.

Email: victimassist@justice.qld.gov.au

Phone: 1300 546 587 (business hours)

Free interpreting service

Phone: 13 14 50

Hearing impaired assistance

TTY users phone: 13 36 77 (no additional call charges apply)

Speak and listen (speech-to-speech relay) users phone: 1300 555 727

Internet relay users connect to the National Relay Service .

Last updated
8 December 2017
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