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Looking after yourself
It is important that you look after yourself before, during and after the court case. How you do this is up to you, but here are some suggestions for you to think about:
- Try to get enough rest, eat well and do some sport or other activity you enjoy.
- Learn relaxation techniques to help you stay calm. "Imagine you are a tree" and "just breathe" are a couple of exercises you might like to try. Find out more about these exercises on our relaxation games page.
- Talk to someone: a close friend or relative, a counsellor, someone from a victims support group or anyone else you feel you can trust and confide in.
- Counselling can help you to:
- Talk about what happened
- Understand what you are feeling
- Find ways to cope in the weeks and months after the crime
- Help you gain the support you need
- Deal with problems such as not sleeping
- Reduce the extent to which your life is changed by the crime.
- If you are a victim, know your rights and get as much information as you can about the court process.
- See if someone can go to court with you as a support person.
- Have a plan for what you would like to do after the case is over, like going to the movies, taking a holiday, visiting friends or just doing something special for yourself.
Expenses are paid to witnesses to attend court to give evidence. This can help with travel costs, loss of earnings, child care and meals/snacks while you are in court. Speak to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) about how to claim for these allowances. See also 'Will you get money for going to court?'
If you are scared or being intimidated by anyone involved in the investigation or court case, notify the police, ODPP immediately. Arrangements can be made to protect you.
See also Safety and Protection, Frequently asked questions about the accused person in court
The Courtwise page provides links to background information about the criminal justice system, including:
- An interactive picture of a typical courtroom and it's features
- Games and puzzles for adults and children with court-related themes
- Dictionary of common terms encountered in the criminal justice system
- Detailed information about the progress of court cases
- Background information about the criminal justice system including the criminal court structure and types of courts.