Who can make a Victim Impact Statement?

If you have suffered physical injury, grief, emotional trauma or financial or property loss as a direct result of a crime, you can make a Victim Impact Statement.

You do not have to be the person the crime was committed against to be able to make a Victim Impact Statement. Family members and parents, where the victim is under 18, can make a statement.

How to make a Victim Impact Statement

A Victim Impact Statement must be prepared as a Statutory Declaration. This means that it is a statement signed by you and declared to be true and correct in front of an authorised witness (such as a lawyer, police officer, doctor, dentist, pharmacist, vet, bank manager or State school principal).

You do not have to be the person the crime was committed against to be able to make a Victim Impact Statement. Family members and parents, where the victim is under 18, can make a statement.

Your statement should be in your own words. It does not have to follow a particular form, but if you want some help and guidance you can use a booklet called Guide to Victim Impact Statements. There is also 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.

Your Victim Impact Statement should describe how the crime has affected you. This can include information about:

  • physical injuries
  • emotional trauma
  • financial loss
  • property loss or damage

You can attach medical or psychological reports to the statement.

You may be able to include pictures, photos, poems, paintings or DVDs in your Victim Impact Statement.

What happens in court?

A copy of your Victim Impact Statement is given to the Court and to the lawyer representing the accused.

You have the right to read your statement to the judge. Alternatively you can ask the barrister engaged by the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP), a 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 do not have to attend court on the date your Victim Impact Statement is considered, unless you want to read it out or you are asked to be there. If you are asked to attend court, you might be asked to give evidence about the information contained in your statement; however, it is rare for this to happen.

How to get the guides?

For further information and a Victim Impact Statement Form, see the Guide to Victim Impact Statements booklet or the Victim Impact Statements Made Easy booklet for young people, available from police stations, the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) and the Victims of Crime Helpline.

Download the Guide to Victim Impact StatementsDownload the Guide to Victim Impact Statements - Made Easy

More about Witnesses