The criminal justice process can be particularly daunting for family members who have lost a loved one to violent crime.

This process may take a number of years to complete. It is important for family members who have lost a loved one to violent crime to understand how the investigation and prosecution process works, and to be able to access information and support if required in order to be prepared for what is to come.

Purpose

Explains

  • The role of bereaved family members in the court process
  • Advice on staying safe
  • What Victim Impact Statements are and how to write them
  • What victim and Family Member Reports are and how to write them
  • What the Victims Register and Adult Parole Board does
  • How to look after yourself
  • The role of the Witness Assistance Service

The criminal justice process can be particularly daunting for family members who have lost a loved one to violent crime.

The aim of WAS conferences is to introduce family members to the solicitor handling the case and the barrister who will be prosecuting the case in court.

Information family members need to know before going to court.

Information for family members on courtroom etiquette.

At the plea hearing you have the opportunity to tell the court, in your own words, about the impact of the crime on you. You do this by making a Victim Impact Statement.

The media is generally interested in reporting information in cases where someone has died in unusual or unexpected circumstances.

Family members may be entitled to financial assistance from the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) to assist with costs they have been required to pay as a result of the crime.

The Victims Register provides information to victims of violent crime about adult prisoners while they are in prison.

The Witness Assistance Service (WAS) supports victims and witnesses of serious crime through the court process.

Access important Publications for bereaved family members.