Violence & Assaults


Offences
Medical, Counselling & Other Supports

Violence and Assault matters represent some of the more common criminal offences under the criminal law.

Any criminal offence where a person is harmed, assaulted, threatened or robbed is both serious and highly distressing.

Planned, random and other acts of violence can be particularly distressing and can lead to significant emotional and mental health concerns.

Victims of Violence and Assaults are commonly left feeling scared, traumatised, unsafe and vulnerable. It is common for victims to exhibit significant emotional and behavioural responses from anxiety, stress and heightened fear; to withdrawing emotionally and ‘shutting down’.

It is common for Violence and Assaults to impact on relationships and all ‘normal’ daily routines.

Victims will commonly fear being exposed or subjected to further threats and violence and may also withdraw from social and other situations that can leave them feeling scared and isolated

The potential of seeing the person accused of an offence involving you is commonly confronting and highly traumatic and re-traumatising.

For these reasons, and others, it is important that people who have experienced Violence & Assault get good and timely help (refer to Medical, Counselling & Other Supports below)

Offences


Criminal matters involving Violence & Assaults are wide and varied and differ depending on the nature of the offence. Some common Violence and Assault type matters prosecuted by the ODPP include:

  • Cause Harm or Serious Harm
  • Threat to Kill or Endanger Life
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Aggravated Robbery
  • Aggravated Theft
  • Rape & Sexual Assaults
  • Domestic & Family Violence

Each of these offences carries significant criminal penalties which can lead to a term of imprisonment. The criminal charge may also be considered aggravated, however this will depend on whether the offence occurred in the company of others, the relationship between the accused and victim, the injuries sustained, and if weapons were involved.

Questions related to the prosecution of Violence & Assault type matters can be best explained by the Police (Investigating Officer involved in your matter), ODPP Solicitor, Prosecutor or allocated Witness Assistance Officer.
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Medical, counselling & other supports


For victims of serious Violence and Assaults it is common to experience ongoing feelings of discomfort from injuries and /or distress resulting from the trauma of the offending. This is a normal response.

If you have been affected by an act of Violence or Assault, it is important that you seek Medical help and Counselling Support as soon as possible to assist you to manage the physical and emotional stress reactions that you may be experiencing.

This will be particularly important if you are a witness and are required to give evidence as part of a criminal Trial.

For victims of Violence and Assaults giving evidence can be a very difficult process due to the nature of the evidence, the formality of the courts, the close proximity to the accused and the trauma resulting from the offences.

There are provisions available for vulnerable victims and witnesses intended to make giving evidence in court more comfortable.   These provisions make it possible for the victims to give evidence without having to see the accused and allowing a support person to be present during evidence. Please refer to the topic Vulnerable Witness Provisions for more information on the provisions available and the process for applying.

It is helpful to have Counselling and Support in place throughout the legal process, in particular before, during and after giving evidence at Trial. The legal process and giving evidence can be stressful. Good support assists victims to increase their wellbeing and cope better with the process.   Please refer to the phone numbers provided below.

If you require counselling or support, please call Victim Support Services who can direct you to the most appropriate service; or refer to the phone numbers for counselling services please refer to our page on Referral and Support Services.

Victim Support Service

1800 VICTIM

http://www.victimsa.org/

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