Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

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Victim impact statements

A victim impact statement explains how a crime has affected the victim. It is presented to the court when the defendant is being sentenced.

A victim impact statement explains how a crime has affected a victim. It includes things like:

  • 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 considered 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 or judge, the prosecution and the offender or their lawyer.

Making a victim impact statement

Your statement must be in the form of a statutory declaration. This is a written statement that you declare to be true and correct and sign in front of an authorised person, such as a lawyer or police officer. You have the option of also making a verbal statement to the court.

There are rules about what you can say in your statement.

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 write your statement. Call the Victims of Crime Helpline on 1800 819 817 for information, advice and support.

How a statement may be used in court

Your statement is one of the things the magistrate or judge will consider when deciding what penalty to give the offender. You should let the prosecutor know if you want some or all of your statement read aloud in court.

A victim impact statement is a legal statement describing how the crime has affected you. It is used for sentencing purposes. 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.

Other support

Find out how you can get Other support for going to court.