​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice.  Find out more >

Instructions for preparing a witness stateme​​nt ​

Instructions iconThese instructions are to help you prepare a written statement. It is not legal advice. If you need more help, get legal advice​.

For a sample, see Sample protected person witness statement

Alert Icon Any information you give to the court should be true. If you give false in​​formatio​n to the court you can be charged by the police. If you want to change t​he information that you have given to the court, you should get legal advice.  

Alert iconIf you are worried that by writing something in your statement you might be​ admitting to a criminal offence, you should get legal advice

Layout an​​d ​​he​adings 

There is no set form for a witness statement, however, you should write your statement in a clear and logical way. You should also write the statement using your own words. 

When setting out your statement is a good idea to:

  • use white A4 paper
  • type if possible, or use neat, clear handwriting in black or blue pen
  • use only one side of the paper
  • write the name of the person making the statement at the top of the page

For ​​example: 

​Statement of Elizabeth Smith

​​Introduct​​ion 

There are certain things that you should include in your statement. You should write your:

  • name
  • address (unless you have concerns for your safety)
  • age and;
  • occupation

For example:

I, Elizabeth Smith, of 12/100 Victoria Road, Double Bay NSW 2028, born 17 September 1975, nurse, state:

OR​

I, Elizabeth Smith, of 12/100 Victoria Road, Double Bay NSW 2028, aged 36, nurse, state:

​Cont​ents

You should then include the details you want the court to consider. You can do this by using:

  • short, numbered paragraphs, or
  • a question and answer format.

The statement should include:

  • information about you and the person you want protection from (the defendant)
    • ​​​​​​the name of the defendant
    • the address of the defendant, if known
    • the date of birth of the defendant, if known
    • the relationship between you and the defendant, for example, neighbour or de facto spouse
    • how long you have been in the relationship, if applicable
    • the names and dates of birth of any children you and the defendant have together or who live with you
    • whether any AVOs or other orders have been made in the past to protect you from the defendant
    • whether the defendant has ever been charged or convicted of any domestic violence offences
    • whether there is a family law court case between you and the defendant
    • whether there are any family law orders in place
    • whether the Department of Community Services (DOCS) is or has been involved
    • whether you and the defendant have any arrangements for you to spend time with your children.
  • information about any incidents
    • ​whether there has been any violence or threats towards you and/or your children in the past
    • any recent incidents, including places, dates, what you saw, heard, said and did
    • details of any reports or statements made to the police, including any event numbers
    • details of any doctors reports or treatment by a doctor or hospital relating to any injuries caused by the defendant
    • evidence of any damage to property
  • ​ other useful information
    • ​the defendant's use of alcohol or drugs, if known 
    • the defendant's access to firearms or other weapons, if known
    • whether there are any mental health issues
  • i​nformation about how you feel
    • if you fear the​​​​ defendant
    • if you scared for your safety
If you write about a conversation you should:
  • use the exact words that the person said, including swear words
  • set out conversations in speech marks as accurately as possible. If you cannot remember exactly what was said you should add the phrase "words to the effect of".
For example:
I​ walked over to the defendant and said "You can't talk to me like that". He said "Shut-up, you're lazy and useless".

OR​​

I walked over to the defendant and said "You can't talk to me like that". He said words to the effect of "Shut-up, you're lazy and useless". 

​Signing t​he statement 

You must finish the statement by stating that everything you have written is the truth, for example:
This statement made by me accurately sets out the evidence that I would be prepared, if necessary, to give in court as a witness. The statement is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and I make it knowing that, if it is tendered in evidence, I will be liable to prosecution if I have wilfully stated in it anything that I know to be false or do not believe to be true.
You then need to sign and date the statement, for example:
Signed: E. Smith
Dated: 17 December 20XX
​You must also have a witness sign and date the statement, for example: ​
Signed: A. Lagi
Dated: 17 December 20XX ​