Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services provide Court Accompaniment support which is provided by our outreach team for women availing of legal options regarding abuse by a current or former husband or partner. Outreach Workers have knowledge and understanding of the family law system and of the legal options open to women living with domestic violence. You may avail of the service for any of the following legal reasons, which require a visit to court: An Application for a Protection or Interim Barring Order.
You can contact our helpline if you wish to attend court. If possible and time permitting, you will meet with a member of the Outreach Team in advance of attending court. If this is not possible then phone contact is made with you by a member of the outreach team in advance of attending court. If you wish to avail of the court accompaniment service, you will first meet with a member of the Outreach Team. During this meeting, a member of the outreach team will:
- Explore your eligibility for the order you are seeking and the possible consequences of any action and explain the court procedures
- Support you to plan your safety
- Assist you to ensure all relevant documentation required on the day is prepared
- Provide emotional support, both before the court proceedings and on the day of application for an order
- Clarify legal terminology for you
- Provide clarity on the decision of the court in a follow up session with you/or on the day if they are present when the decision is made and inform you of possible follow-up proceedings/options
- Identify safety measures with you and your children following the application process for an order
- Provide post-hearing support/follow up one to one support and links to wider supports and services that the organisation can provide
- Assistance in legal aid application and gathering necessary and applicable documents.
- Information and Referral to, Refuge and other services we provide
If you are applying for an order (an applicant) you have the right to be accompanied in court by a support person, including a support worker. However, the court may refuse you to be accompanied by a particular support person but would have to give reasons. A support worker will also discuss any safety implications regarding court accompaniments. You are not able to do this if you are a respondent.