Ireland. I am a child victim of domestic or sexual violence (if it is committed by a family member or if parents are ignorant) - Labirint
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Ireland. I am a child victim of domestic or sexual violence (if it is committed by a family member or if parents are ignorant)

    Ireland. I am a child victim of domestic or sexual violence (if it is committed by a family member or if parents are ignorant)

    We have collected instructions, recommendations and contacts, which can help you in the chosen country and situation

    01. Get help

    — What should I do if I am in danger and need emergency help?

    Call 112 or 999.

    — As a minor, can I call the police myself?

    A minor can call the police him/herself and the criminal legal process begins once a crime is reported. The police (typically the specialist Divisional Protective Services Units) will arrange to have a statement taken either at the police station or the local Rape Crisis Centre. 

    The statement is a legal document that sets out the incident in full detail and it is also the practice to video-record interviews with child victims (under 18 years), which are carried out only be police officers and the Child and Family Agency (the Tulsa) specialists with specialist training, such recordings being accepted as evidence in criminal proceedings.

    — Can I represent my own interests in state bodies, courts, etc.?

    The victim’s role in criminal proceedings is only as a witness for the State, and all prosecutions are taken by the deputy public prosecutor on behalf of the people of Ireland.

    Only one limited circumstance for self-legal representation – where the accused person’s legal advisors, following application to the court, want to ask the victim questions about their sexual experience generally (including that which is not connected to the incident).

    A minor victim is entitled to go to early court hearings at his or her option, but is not required to attend, although not permitted to address the court until called as a witness.

    Rape Crisis staff can accompany a minor victim at any stage of the court process.

    — Will I be removed from my own family? How? When? Etc.

    Under the Domestic Violence Act 2018, the main kinds of protection available to victims of abuse are safety orders and barring orders, both of which do not require the victim to be removed from his or her own family.

    Instead, the barring order (up to 3 years) would require the accused to leave the home and prohibits the person from entering the home or watching or being near the home

    Children can make their views known to the court where safety or barring order is sought on behalf of a child (although subject to an expert’s evaluation of the child’s views)

    02. Get medical help

    — As a minor, can I ask for medical help myself?

    A minor can ask for medical help themselves, but any forensic evidence would be stored regardless of consent.

    — Can I represent my own interests in medical organizations?

    Although the age of majority is 18, the law (Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997) recognizes 16 and 17-year-olds as having the capacity to consent to medical treatment on their own behalf, while for children under the age of 16, the consent of the parent or legal guardian is required, although the courts may override this in exceptional circumstances where there is a severe threat to a child’s life or well-being. This would require balancing by the courts of both the child’s and parent’s respective rights (Northwestern Health Board v HW and CW [2001] 3 IR 622).

     Note that the Guide to Professional Conduct for Ethics for Registered Medical Practitioners issued by the Medical Council provides that “Children and young people should be involved as much as possible in discussions about their healthcare. When you are talking to a child or young person, it is important to give them information in an age-appropriate manner, listen to their views, and treat them with respect.”

    Did our instructions help?

    When compiling the instructions, we relied on the help of volunteers and lawyers from different countries. If something went wrong – the organization didn’t respond to you, you found a bug or the instructions weren’t precise enough – tell us about it. Email us at: help@labirint.online

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