Our outstanding volunteer group nominated for this year’s VI Awards: Victim Support at Court
Victim Support at Court (V-SAC) is the only voluntary organisation in Ireland that is dedicated solely to providing court accompaniment to victims of crime and prosecution witnesses when they are attending court. V-SAC trained volunteers accompany victims to court, give practical advice and access to a private area within the courthouse away from the general public. They support victims of all types of crime, their family and friends and witnesses when they are attending court. To become a ‘full-fledged V-SAC Volunteer, it takes 3-4 months from application, training and shadowing an experienced volunteer, to being assigned a case to support on their own. They ensure that anyone looking for support at court has access to V-SAC and liaise with the Gardai, DPP’s Office and other support agencies.
V-SAC supported 1,365 people in 2018, an increase of 27% since 2016 and on the busiest day in Dublin alone, 96 people received support across 17 cases. Irrespective of the outcome of their case, victims were so appreciative for the support provided as well as inundating the group with thank you cards. The victim support area is often referred to as a ‘sanctuary’ or a ‘safe haven’ because of the informal and friendly atmosphere the volunteers provide.
Without the volunteers V-SAC would not have such a high-quality, professional and much needed service for victims of crime. V-SAC involves their volunteers in striving to provide a safe and supportive environment for victims of crime, their families or witnesses while they attend court. The volunteers always put the victims first.
Find out about all the nominees for the VI Awards here.