Support for young victims and witnesses of crime
When someone intentionally hurts you, you might struggle to know what to do or who to talk to.
Victim Assist Queensland offers free support to help you get your life back on track. If you were hurt in Queensland, we may also be able to pay for services to help you recover.
When to ask for help
It can be hard to decide if you have been a victim or not. To help you work it out, these behaviours can be considered to be acts of violence:
- any type of physical assault such as being kicked, punched, held down, held by the head or neck, hit by something or choked
- any type sexual offence
- threatening you with force or weapons
- stalking, kidnapping and deprivation of liberty
- domestic and family violence or partner violence (see below)
- dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death or grievous bodily harm
- murder or manslaughter (we can help close family members of the person who has died)
If any of these things happen to you anywhere in Queensland, you should ask for help.
Domestic and family violence
Domestic and family violence impacts many families in Australia, but sometimes others in your family are not ready to get help.
If domestic and family violence is affecting your family, you should ask for help.
You might be experiencing violence yourself. When you start a relationship with someone it can be hard to work out what is okay and what is not. To help you work it out, read our lists of abusive behaviours.
If any of these things are happening in your relationship you should ask for help.
No matter what has happened, we encourage you to talk to someone about it. There are lots of support services who you can talk to—it’s up to you to choose the option you are most comfortable with.
You can call:
You can ask police at your local station for advice and help—even if you do not want to make a formal report.
If you prefer, you can ask to talk to an officer who is the same gender as you. If you have been sexually assaulted, you have the option to report the offence anonymously.
You can talk to a doctor or practice nurse by making an appointment at any medical centre.
The government offers support and advice through:
If you have been a victim of violence, you may need help to recover and get your life back on track. We may be able to help you pay for:
- replacing any clothes that were damaged
- medical or counselling costs
- the cost of changing schools (if the violence is happening at school)
- a tutor (to help you catch up if you have had to skip a lot of school, Tafe or university)
- loss of earnings if you are working and need to take time off.
Find out more about our financial assistance scheme.
Going to court
If you or someone else reports the violent act to police, the matter may end up in court. You may be asked to give evidence in court about what you saw, heard or experienced.
You have rights about how you are treated when in court. These include:
- you must be treated with dignity, respect and compassion
- measures must be taken to limit your distress or trauma
- you must be protected from intimidation during cross-examination
- the proceedings should be resolved in a timely manner.
Queensland courts can use pre-recorded evidence and resources when young people give evidence.
Young people who are summonsed to appear as witnesses may need support. Protect All Children Today Inc. (PACT) is a non-government organisation that offers this support.
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) employs community visitors to help children and young people that are:
- in care
- re-entering care
- transitioning out of care.
OPG is independent from other government and non-government agencies who make sure that your concerns and views are listened to.
Community visitors are interested in your safety and well-being and can help give you a voice when:
- you feel unsafe
- someone harms or threatens you
- you don’t like decisions that are being made that impact on your life
- you would like to talk about things that are happening in your life.
Community visitors can visit you wherever you are living, including a foster home, residential care facility, a detention centre or a mental health facility.
If you would like to contact a community visitor, you can:
- phone 1800 661 533—these calls are free if you call from a landline but there may be a cost if you use a mobile phone
- send an SMS to 0418 740 186
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
- complete the OPG quick message form.