The Women's Aid Court Accompaniment Service provides support for women availing of legal options regarding abuse by a current or former husband or partner.
It is provided by the Women's Aid One to One Support Service. Women's Aid Support Workers have expert knowledge and understanding of the family law system and of the legal options open to women living with domestic violence.
You may avail of the service for any of the following legal reasons, which require a visit to court:
Going to court because of domestic violence can be stressful. You may already be feeling demoralised and humiliated by the abuse you have experienced. Sometimes, confronting a technical legal court system with an unfamiliar language and procedure, can be intimidating.
This can be made worse by a number of factors. You may fear facing your abusive partner in a court of law. You may also be afraid of retaliation by him. You may find it difficult to seek support from family and friends to see them through the court process. Perhaps you haven't told them of the abuse.
Women's Aid can help you through this process.
You make an appointment through the Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900. If you wish to avail of the court accompaniment service you will first meet with the Women's Aid One to One Support Service. During this meeting, a support worker will:
On the day of your court hearing, the Women's Aid Support Worker will:
If you are applying for an order (an applicant) you have the right to be accompanied in court by a support person, including a support worker. However, the court may refuse you to be accompanied by a particular support person but would have to give reasons. A support worker will also discuss any safety implications court accompaniments. You are not able to do this if you are a respondent.
The length of time you use the service for depends on your needs. Women's Aid Support Workers will work with you to maximise your safety. This may need one or two meetings. Or several more. We will provide you support as long as you need it.