Victim impact statements

Victim impact statements

A victim impact statement explains how a crime has affected a victim. It includes issues such as:

  • financial loss
  • physical injury
  • property damage or loss
  • emotional trauma suffered as a direct result of the crime.

If a person is found guilty, a victim impact statement can be taken into account by the court in deciding the penalty.

Victim impact statements are voluntary: if you don't want to make one, you don't have to. If you do make a statement, copies are given to the magistrate, the prosecution and the accused or their lawyer.

Making an victim impact statement

The statement must be in the form of a statutory declaration. This is a written statement that you sign in front of an authorised person, such as a lawyer or justice of the peace. You have the option of also making a verbal statement to the court.

You can download the Guide to victim impact statements and the Victim Impact Statement form from the Victims of Crime website.

You can also get help to prepare your statement.

How a statement may be used in court

The lawyer presenting the evidence against the accused (the prosecutor) may read out part or all of your statement to the court. It may be referred to by the magistrate during sentencing.

You may be required to give evidence in court. The prosecution or the accused's lawyer may ask you questions about the information in your victim impact statement. The questions asked by the accused’s lawyer may be difficult or probing.

A victim impact statement is a legal statement. It does not entitle you to receive payment for any losses you may have suffered. This is a different process. See Financial assistance and compensation.

Get help

Find out how victims of crime can get help.