VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT
For this assignment, use the following scenario OR see the teacher for approval of your own idea.
|WHAT IS A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT?||WHO CAN MAKE A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT?|
|WHAT COULD A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT CONTAIN?||WHAT A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT IS NOT|
|BENCHMARKS FOR WRITING A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT||VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT ORAL PRESENTATION|
|SAMPLE FORMAT FOR A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT|
WHAT IS A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT ?
A victim impact statement is a written statement (could be 2-3 paragraphs or longer) by a victim of the personal harm suffered as a result of the
offence. It gives the victim an opportunity not only to say what impact the offence has had on the victim, but also what, in the opinion of the victim,
should be done about the matter.
A victim impact statement is given AFTER a person has been convicted and BEFORE the person in sentenced.
Once the defendant has been found guilty, the judge will look at the Victim Impact Statement to help make the correct decision regarding
WHO CAN MAKE A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT?
1. A primary victim (the person against whom the offence was committed)
2. A family victim (The victim's spouse, parent, sibling etc.
3. A representative of the victim (family friend, counselor, medical )
WHAT COULD A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT CONTAIN?
1). The statement gives the person the chance to put into writing for the judge the IMPACT that the crime has had upon the victim (family, friends).
2). The victim can inform the court of how the offence has affected him or her physically, mentally and otherwise.
WHAT A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT IS NOT
1). It is not an opportunity to vent anger at the law enforcement and judicial systems. Respect must always be shown to the judge and the position he/she represents.
2). It is not the time to review the entire case. That’s the prosecutor’s job.
3). It is not a time to be wordy. Avoid repetition. Brevity is important.
4). It is not a time to explode with an emotional outburst at the imposter or be overly dramatic.
5). It is not a time to expect a confession from the imposter or to ask why did you do this? You won’t get an honest answer anyway and the "apology" might work against you if interpreted as remorse.
1). Begin your statement with addressing the court (Your Honor).
2). Organize your thoughts in a MINIMUM of 500 to 600 words.
3). Describe the event in the first paragraph.
4). Describe the injury sustained and how this has impacted your life physically, emotionally, socially (second paragraph).
5). Make a recommendation as to restitution, plus (if desired) a recommendation as to the appropriate sentence. (third paragraph).
6). Make a closing statement --should be a powerful "punch" that will have a lingering affect in the courtroom.
7). Edit carefully--check for content, organization, sentence structure, strong vocabulary, spelling, grammar.
1). Prepare to come "in character" and orally present your victim impact statement.
2). Speak loudly and clearly to the audience.
3). Voice should have strong intonation (expression).
4). Eye contact with the audience.
SAMPLE FORMAT FOR A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT
CITY of (name)
Dear Judge (name):
First section— In your own words, thank the judge for the opportunity to present your statement.
Second section – One or two paragraphs summarizing the next four sections. (This is a writing technique called "tell them what you are going to tell them about.")
Third section – The Burden on the Victim. This is the time to summarize your efforts to clear up the problem caused by this crime. Tell about the hours you spent, the numerous letters and phone calls you made, fraud alerts on accounts, changing accounts, getting a new driver’s license number, dealing with credit grantors and governmental agencies. Were there any long-term effects such as refused credit or the loss of a job? Keep it short and be specific.
Fourth section – The Emotional Impact. How did this affect you and your family emotionally, medically? How did this affect your family, relationships and employment? Did this crime cause a change in your lifestyle or your personality? Give examples and some details to prove your point but don’t beat it to death.
Fifth section – State your respectful requests of the court in terms of sentencing. Then write a short conclusion. This is your final opportunity to briefly explain why you hope the judge will take this crime seriously and consider your requests. Don’t vent. Be respectful and talk about why society should not tolerate this crime. What really made it so wrong? What trust did this person violate – for you and for society?
Finally -- Thank the courts for their attention and sign your name.
ASSIGNMENT CREATED BY:
MASTER'S ACADEMY AND COLLEGE
CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA
USED WITH PERMISSION