8 tips for writing a Victim Impact Statement
Writing a Victim Impact Statement is an opportunity to tell the court, in your own words, the impact that a violent crime has had on you.
Before getting started on writing your Victim Impact Statement, it’s important you know what to include and what not to include in your Victim Impact Statement.
Here are 8 tips to help you write your Victim Impact Statement.
This blog is a guide only. Our Service, VictimConnect helps people who have experienced a violent crime in Queensland to complete their Victim Impact Statement. If you need assistance, please contact us here.
Read up on what to include and what not to include
There are rules around what to include and what not to include in your Victim Impact Statement. These are outlined in the factsheet by Victim Assist Queensland. A Victim Impact Statement for the courts should focus on the ‘impact of the crime’. It must not include details of the crime. Keep reading for tips on how to explain the impact of the crime in your Statement.
Share what your life was like before and after the violent crime
After experiencing a traumatic incident like a violent crime, life changes. Share what your life was like before the violent crime and then talk to the changes to your life as a direct result of experiencing a violent crime. This will show the courts the impact that the crime has had on you.
Explain both the physical and emotional impacts, and attach supporting documentation
Talk about both the physical and emotional impacts you’ve experienced as a result of the violent crime. Include medical certificates and medical documentation to support these impacts. If you do not include supporting documentation, the prosecutor may be able to strike through parts of your Victim Impact Statement.
Talk about any social impacts as a result of the violent crime
Experiencing a violent crime can have impacts on a person’s social life and how safe they feel around other people. If you have experienced social impacts as a result of the violent crime, you might like to talk to these to show the various ways the violent crime has impacted you.
Explain the financial burden of the violent crime
Victims of violent crime often experience financial impacts as a direct result of what they have experienced. Financial impacts can occur through loss of work, time off work, medical or counselling expenses. If this has happened to you, be sure to include this in your Victim Impact Statement.
Write as little or as much as you like
There aren’t rules around the length of Victim Impact Statements, however, according to Victim Assist Queensland, Victim Impact Statements normally range between one paragraph and 3 pages in length. Write as little or as much as you like.
Keep language simple
Write your Victim Impact Statement using simple and clear language so that the judge or magistrate can gain a clear understanding of the impact of the violent crime.
You have the option to add documents to your Statement, such as drawings and poems
Every person communicates and expresses themselves differently. If you would like to include other documents such as drawings or poems as part of your Victim Impact Statement, you can do so.
VictimConnect is a free service for victims of violent crime in Queensland. We can help you with your Victim Impact Statement. Call us on 1300 318 940 to find out more.
Find out more about our partner, Victim Assist Queensland here: https://www.qld.gov.au/law/crime-and-police/victim-assist-queensland