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victim support services in ireland

In Ireland, victim support is provided by both governmental authorities and non-governmental voluntary organisations; victims are able to access free support, even when they do not wish to report a crime.

Specialist support services are available to certain categories of victims of crime, such as victims of gender-based violence, domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault and victims of human trafficking. Specialist services are also available to child victims of crime and abuse.

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Emergency Number

Some of the available services include

Victims of Sexual Crimes

If you are the survivor of a sexual assualt or rape, you should visit a HSE Sexual Assault Treatment Unit within seven days; there are a number of specialised rape crisis centres around the country which can support you.

Accompaniment

Services provided by Irish support organisations include accompaniment to court, to police interviews, etc. You do not have to go to the Garda station alone, you can take a lawyer and/or a victim support worker, or another person of your choice. Neither do you have to go to court alone. During a trial, you can be accompanied by a victim support worker or by another person of your choice. Victim Support at Court (VSAC) is an independent voluntary organisation, which is dedicated to supporting all victims of crime in court, and organises pre-trial court visits to allow victims familiarise themselves with the court setting before a trial.

Specialist Victim Support Groups

Other specialist victim support groups also offer court accompaniment to specific groups of victims, including: Accompaniment Support Services for Children (ASSC), Rape Crisis Centres (visit their website to find a local service near you), as well as various organisations for domestic abuse and violence victims, such as Safe Ireland, and OneinFour (childhood sexual abuse). Most of these specialised services also provide accompaniment to Garda stations (to report a crime) and to hospitals (for forensic medical examinations).

Victim support helpline & support at a distance

Crime Victims Helpline

Dial 116 006 to call the Crime Victims Helpline which is open Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 5pm, Tuesdays from 10am to 6.30pm, Saturdays and public holidays from 2pm to 4pm. You can also text them, free of charge, on 0851337711 or email info@crimevictimshelpline.ie. The Crime Victims Helpline is a confidential, national helpline run by a team of trained volunteers and staff. You can text 50808 for crisis emotional support and you can also freephone the Federation for Victim Assistance on 1800 277 477.

Support After Crime Services

Support After Crime Services can be contacted through their website.

Survivors of Physical, Emotional and Sexual Abuse

If you are a survivor of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, Connect counselling service is available for telephone counselling through the freephone number: 1800 477 477.

HSE’s National Counselling Service

HSE’s National counselling service offers free face-to-face, phone or online video counselling.

Rights of victims of crime in ireland

Victims of crime have a set of rights which they can exercise in order to meet their needs and defend their interests during the criminal justice process. Victims have, amongst others, the right to information at all stages of the criminal proceedings, from first contact with police to any parole hearing, if someone is sentenced to prison.

Victims also have the right to be protected and the right to make a Victim Impact Statement when an offender is being sentenced, to explain the impact the crime has had on their life.

These rights are set out not only in Irish national laws but also in international legal instruments, such as the European Union Directive which establishes the minimum standards on the rights, support, and protection of victims of crime.

Learn more about your rights at:
infovictims.ie

Useful resources for victims of crime in ireland

Garda Victim Service Offices

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Garda Victim Services

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Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)

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Victims of Crime – Citizens information

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The Victims Charter

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Receiving support is
your right!

The content of this fact sheet represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.