Victim Impact Statement
Only you know how to best describe the effects this crime has had on you and those close to you. A Victim Impact Statement is your opportunity to tell the judge about the crime in your own words. You decide how to present the statement. You may present the statement in written form or orally to the court, or you may request the prosecuting attorney or victim advocate present the statement to the court.
Tips for preparing a Victim Impact Statement:
- You might find it helpful to prepare a rough draft before preparing your final statement.
- Areas to consider in preparing your statement:
- Immediate impact of the crime (what did you feel and experience during the crime and/or immediately following the crime?)
- Short-term impact (what did you feel and experience in the weeks, months following the crime?)
- Long-term impact (what have you continued to experience as a result of the crime?)
- What would you like to happen as a result of sentencing? (Remember to be realistic. Consider what the law allows as well as any terms already outlined in a plea agreement.)
- Any particular facts about the crime the judge may not know or should consider (for example-was the person who committed the crime in a position of trust?)
- Other areas to consider…Did you experience physical pain? Describe the physical injuries and how long they lasted or are expected to last. Describe any medical treatment you have received or will continue to receive. Did you experience emotional pain? How has the crime affected your lifestyle? Have your feelings about yourself changed since the crime? Has your ability to relate to others changed? Did you experience financial loss or hardship?
- As you begin to consider writing a Victim Impact Statement it may be helpful to keep a journal to record all of your thoughts and the information you want to include in your statement, but try to keep your final statement two pages or less. A very lengthy statement may lose its impact.
If you have any questions about your Victim Impact Statement or need assistance preparing your statement, please feel free to contact your Victim Advocate.