What is a 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 to aid the judge in his/her decision regarding an appropriate sentence and suitable restitution.

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.
  • Statements must be directed to the court and the judge, not to the defendant.

 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.

Show All Answers

1. Who do I contact if I have been a victim of a crime?
2. Where is the Victim/Witness Office located?
3. What is Restitution?
4. How can I request restitution?
5. What is Reparations?
6. What is the difference between restitution and reparations?
7. What is a Victim Impact Statement?
8. I’m afraid the offender will want to retaliate against me or my family members.
9. How do I know if the offender is still in custody?
10. How do I prepare for testifying?