Trial venue and process: the victim and the accused

AuthorLillian Mcgovern
PositionChief Executive Officer of Victim Support
Thank you Mr. Justice Geoghegan and good morning
to you all. As I have been introduced, my name is Lillian
McGovern and I have been the Chief Executive of Victim
Support since 1998.
I am particularly pleased to be sharing the platform
with Muireann Ni Bhrian, Geraldine Connolly and Kate
Mulkerrins, all of whom bring a very particular and specialist
expertise to the subject of sexual crime in Ireland.
The Rape Crisis movement must be commended for
their excellent work with those who have suffered as a result
of such degrading acts of personal violation. Victim Support
continues to work in co-operation with the Rape Crisis
centres around the country in ensuring that victims of sexual
crime are referred to the appropriate professional help.
Victim Support assists over 7,000 victims of crime
each year. Our trained volunteers and staff offer practical
assistance and emotional support to those affected by many
different types of crime, ranging from property crime right
across the spectrum to those who have a family member
Victim Support’s services include a Court Witness
Service which offers the necessary support to men and
women who have been raped or sexually assaulted. Our
expertise does not include counselling for such individuals,
but rather we provide that very necessary practical help and
continued support before, during and after the trial. We know
that the physical and mental scars for such people can be
profound and we know that they are often made worse by a
criminal system which they feel ignores or disregards their
plight. In the course of my work I regularly hear of instances
2003] Trial Venue and Process 103
* Chief Executive Officer of Victim Support.

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