What is a Victim Impact statement?

The Victim Impact Statement is one of a number of factors the judge will take into account when sentencing the offender for the crime.

Each family member has the right to make a Victim Impact Statement once an accused has pleaded guilty or has been found guilty. It is your choice whether or not to make a Victim Impact Statement.

If you wish to make a Victim Impact Statement, the OPP will refer you to an appropriate victim’s service agency for assistance in preparing your Victim Impact Statement. We will also give you general information about the types of material that the Court might disallow and the consequences of such a ruling.

Parents and guardians can prepare a statement for any children who want to tell the court about the impact of the crime on them. There is a guide for young people who want to make a Victim Impact Statement called Victim Impact Statements Made Easy available on the Victim Support Agency website.

You may be able to include pictures, photos, poems, paintings or DVDs in your Victim Impact Statement. You have the right to read your statement to the judge. Alternatively you can get the prosecutor, another family member or a representative to read it out. In certain circumstances, alternative arrangements can be made for you to read out your statement in a remote witness facility or to have a support person beside you when you read it out. You should contact the OPP solicitor in advance if you wish to use these alternative arrangements.

It is important to know that the defence barrister and the accused person may read your Victim Impact Statement before or during the plea hearing.

Click here for a copy of the Guide to Victim Impact Statements or contact WAS or your local Victims’ Assistance and Counselling Program.

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