Last updated 12 September 2018
Victim Assist Queensland’s Information and Referral Service is available to answer questions and can also provide help:
- to complete the financial assistance application form
- to connect with a free victim support service
- to understand how to write a victim impact statement for the court
- with referrals to court support workers.
Victim Assist’s Information and Referral Service refers victims and their families to appropriate specialist services, including specialist counselling services to meet their presenting support and recovery needs outside of the criminal justice system.
Victim Assist’s local area victim coordination officers located in Cairns, Rockhampton and Ipswich courthouses and a local information and referral officer located in the Townsville courthouse work to improve service coordination and the capacity of agencies to deliver court support in local areas. When required, they also provide direct client services for victims of crime such as in-court support, assistance preparing a victim impact statement, assistance to victims trying to understand their rights and how to make a complaint, referral information and support, and assistance to victims applying for financial assistance.
Counselling Notes Protect service
The Counselling Notes Protect service is a new free service delivered by Legal Aid Queensland and Women’s Legal Service. This service provides advice, assistance and representation to sexual assault victims and counsellors who seek to prevent disclosure of counselling communications in court under the new sexual assault counselling privilege introduced in Queensland.
The privilege is based on the New South Wales legislative model. It provides for an absolute privilege in preliminary proceedings and a qualified privilege in other proceedings.
The privilege limits the disclosure and use of confidential communications made between a victim of sexual assault and a counsellor during a criminal proceeding, related civil proceeding or proceeding under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (Qld).
The privilege seeks to ensure people who have been sexually assaulted are not deterred from seeking therapy through fear of having their confidential counselling communications disclosed to others, including the accused, during legal proceedings.
You should seek legal advice about whether the privilege applies to your matter.