Child victims (anyone under the age of 18) are automatically presumed to need special protections.
Special protections and supports for children can include:
- The Gardaí must consider your child’s best interests, including the child’s views or concerns.
- Interviews conducted by the Gardaí with your child may be recorded and then may be used in criminal proceedings as evidence.
- A special representative may be appointed for your child when a family member or guardian has been charged with, or is under investigation for, an offence relating to your child.
- A child has a right to access support services, free of charge. These support services may include counselling.
- Interviews conducted in a location specially designed or adapted for the purpose.
- Interviews conducted by someone who has specialised training.
- The trial may take place without the presence of the general public. However, if the judge orders the public not be allowed, members of the press may still have the right to be present.
- While testifying in court, your child has a right to avoid contact with the offender. This could mean testifying from behind a screen or from a different room over a video link.
- Your child cannot be cross-examined about their private life if it is not related to the criminal offence.