Victim Impact Statement
A Victim Impact Statement may be the only means of making offenders aware of the harm they have caused. A Victim Impact Statement can be written or oral. It gives the victim an opportunity to provide information for the judge to consider at sentencing, and allows the victim to express the pain, anguish and financial devastation the crime has caused. A Victim Impact Statement provides the court with information which leads to appropriate sentences and suitable restitution.
The following are items to consider including in your Victim Impact Statement:
- A brief summary of the harm or trauma suffered by the victim as a result of the crime
- A summary of the financial loss or damage suffered by the victim as a result of the crime
- The victim's reactions or objections to the proposed sentence
- Jail, prison, work release privileges, community service can be addressed
- A short statement of what outcome the victim would like and their reasons, including support for, or opposition to, treatment or community service programs
- Highlights about the victim, their past accomplishments, hopes for the future and what the crime has done to these activities
- The overall effect the incident has had on the victim and family
- Do not repeat facts already presented
According to the law, the victim determines how the statement should be presented at the sentencing or disposition hearing. They may choose to:
- Present the statement in written form.
- Present the statement orally to the court.
- Request the prosecuting attorney or victim coordinator to orally present the statement.