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Victim impact statements

As a victim, you have the right to make a victim impact statement, which tells the court how the crime has affected you.

Read more about how to make a victim impact statement and how it is used in court.

What is a victim impact statement?

A victim impact statement can help the judge understand how the crime has affected you and decide what sentence to give the offender. It gives you a chance to talk about how you feel, and what has happened to you because of the crime.

A victim impact statement is different to the statement you make to the police, where you tell them exactly what happened at the time of the crime. It’s about explaining how the crime has affected you:

Who can make a victim impact statement?

Any victim of crime can make a victim impact statement. Sometimes other people who have been affected by the crime can make a victim impact statement, but only if the judge agrees.

Do I have to make a victim impact statement?

Victim impact statements are optional. You don’t have to make one if you don’t want to. If you decide not to make one, the court will still consider the impact of the crime on you through the evidence from the court case.

No one can change your victim impact statement without your agreement. However, the prosecutor needs to make sure the content is suitable for the court and might advise you to change it.

Victim impact statements in the youth justice system

The youth justice system operates a bit differently from the adult criminal justice system. In the Youth Court the main way you give your views to the court is through a family group conference plan, although some victims of offending by a child or young person may be able to read their victim impact statement in court.

For more information see the Youth justice system.

Read about your right to make a victim impact statement

Right to make a victim impact statement

You have the right to make a victim impact statement, which tells the court how the crime has affected you. You can get help to write your victim impact statement.

The judge will only consider your victim impact statement when they sentence the offender.

If the judge says you can, you can read your victim impact statement to the court. You can also ask someone to read the statement for you.

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