While investigating your case, the Gardaí will decide whether you need special supports or protections (see list of these below). Among the things they will consider when making their decision are your personal circumstances and the type and circumstances of the crime.
If you have been the victim of certain types of crime, you are more likely to need special protection. These crimes include terrorism, organised crime, human trafficking, gender-based violence, violence in close relationships and sexual violence.
Victims of hate crimes may also need special protection. Hate crimes are crimes with a bias or discriminatory motive related to your age, gender, gender identity or expression of it, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation or health.
Victims with a disability or who have problems communicating may also be identified as needing special protections.
You should let the Gardaí know if you think you have any special protection needs.
Special protections and supports can include:
- 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, you have 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.
- You cannot be cross-examined about your private life if it is not related to the criminal offence.