Victims of crime have the right to participate and to be heard in the criminal justice system through the use of Victim Impact Statements. A Victim Impact Statement provides the victim with an opportunity to address the court prior to sentencing.
This opportunity also allows victims to personalize the crime and express the impact it has had on them and their families. This process may also aid victims in their emotional recovery.
You are under no obligation to submit a Victim Impact Statement - it is your choice. It can be either a written or oral statement given to the Judge at the time of sentencing.
Typically, a Victim Impact Statement will contain the following:
- The physical, financial, psychological or emotional impact of the crime.
- Medical treatment, ongoing medical problems as the result of the crime
- Financial burden of medical treatment, counseling, loss of work, replacing damaged or stolen items
- Emotional struggles due to fears, loss of a loved one, relocation, ability to relate to others, changes in relationships, trust, etcetera.
- The harm done to family
- Changes in family relationships or roles
- Financial struggles
- The need for restitution.
- The victim's opinion of an appropriate sentence for the offender.
If you need further assistance in preparing a Victim Impact Statement, please contact our agency for further assistance.