Victim Impact Statements
A victim impact statement is an official document that can be presented to the Court at the sentencing stage of a trial to assist the Judge in their deliberations as to what the appropriate sentence for an offender is. The police will usually ask a victim to complete a victim impact statement at the time that charges are laid. If this has not been done the prosecution may come back to the victim prior to the sentence hearing to request that it be done. We provide support to help victims write their impact statement under both of these scenarios.
Anything that is written in a victim impact statement must be truthful, accurate and relevant to the crime. It should include details of all the harm that the incident caused including:
- physical harm
- medical treatment you have received
- long term physical harm you may suffer
- psychological or emotional harm
- counselling you are receiving
- any financial loss
A victim can choose not to make a statement but we reccommend that victims do. It can be very beneficial to trauma recovery for a victim to stop and recognize what is happening. To realise that they are having a particular experience and that the way they are feeling is not normal. To acknowledge that their state of well being has changed.
Victim impact statements can also be used by us to represent victims where they decide they do not want to participate in a victim offender conference but want the offender to know the harm they have caused.