Victims of Sexual Violence
All crime causes harm. Not alone for individuals affected directly, but for their families and for their communities. In working with offenders who have been convicted of a sexual offence, the Probation Service ensures that the way we work is both inclusive of, and responsive to, the needs of victims.
We do this in a number of ways - providing dedicated, victim-sensitive training to the staff who carry out this work. We also access statements from victims to inform the content of pre-sanction reports (link to assessment) on sexual offenders and work with An Garda Síochána and other statutory agencies to manage the post -release supervision of these offenders. This is designed to reduce any further risk of harm to the victim and the potential risk to other victims.
Victim Impact Report
If you have been the victim of a sexual offence, the court may request that the Probation Service prepare a Victim Impact Report before sentence is determined - under Section 5 Criminal Justice Act, 1993. That report will be prepared by a Probation Officer who is not working with the offender who has caused harm to you. The Probation Officer will meet with you, in a location of your choice, to provide you with the opportunity to describe and discuss the impact of that harm on you and your family, in a safe and sensitive setting.
Members of the National Victim Services Team can assist victims who have queries in relation to court orders for the supervision of sex offenders in the community and the way in which Probation Officers deliver this service.
There is evidence to show that some victims of sexual crime wish to meet the offender for a variety of reasons. Perhaps, they wish to talk directly to the offender about the harm and hurt experienced - or get the chance to ask some questions which have not been answered during the course of the investigation and the court process. It can, for some, respond to the victim's quest for closure.
The Probation service has in place a Victim Offender Mediation Programme (link to restorative justice) which can provide interested victims with the opportunity to meet their offender. This voluntary meeting takes place in a safe, controlled setting assisted by a trained mediator who will facilitate the discussion for the purpose of addressing/repairing the harm which has been done.