Support for witnesses and victims of crime
These are some of the support services available for witnesses.
Part of the Department of Justice, Victims Services gives information on court support for witnesses and victims of crime in its highly informative website.
It has links to services for witnesses or victims with particular needs, for example people with cognitive disabilities. Your time at court is a special section aimed at witnesses who need to give evidence.
Witness Assistance Service
Witness Assistance Service (WAS) is a New South Wales service for witnesses and victims of crime appearing in court cases prosecuted by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).
WAS provides information about:
- what to expect at court
- your rights and entitlements, such as victims compensation
- the stage your case is at in the court system
- other services and supports that are available to you.
Preparing a witness statement
If you need to write a witness statement, LawAssist NSW has instructions for preparing witness statements and samples of completed statements.
Telephone LawAccess NSW at 1300 888 529.
Remote witness facilities
Remote witness facilities allow vulnerable witnesses, such as children or victims of sexual assault, to give evidence from a room that is separate from the courtroom.
If you have concerns about giving evidence in a courtroom, speak to the prosecutor or your solicitor about making a request to use remote witness facilities.
Victims of crime
If you are a victim of crime, you can find out about your rights; where to access counselling and how to apply for compensation at Victims Services. The Victims Services website has a section called Justice Journey which gives practical advice and contact details of service providers that can help and support you before, during and after the court process.
Victims Services also publishes a range of fact sheets and brochures to help victims at different stages of their experience. The guides they publish about the criminal justice system include sentencing and Victim Impact Statements.
If you are an Aboriginal person or Torres Straits islander who is a victim of crime in New South Wales, you can call the special confidential Victim's Services Aboriginal contact line.
For more information see Legal and court support for Aboriginal people.