How do you write a victim impact statement?


Quick Answer

When writing a victim impact statement, the writer should include information about how the crime has affected him, his family and his community, the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children advises. Victim impact statements can include descriptions of any emotional, financial, medical or physical consequences of the crime committed, Victims of Crime explains.

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Full Answer

Victim impact statements allow the victims of crimes opportunities to speak in court proceedings and make impacts on the boards or judges making decisions about sentencing, Parents of Murdered Children explains. Judges listen to the statements to help determine how much jail time the defendants should receive for their crimes. A parole board may take impact statements into consideration before deciding whether to release a criminal already incarcerated, and what conditions the board imposes with the release, Victims of Crimes notes.

Victim impact statements can be useful for a victim because they are therapeutic. During a trial, the victims usually have little to no ability to talk about their sides of the story, and usually the court does not hear or consider the victims' opinions. Having the opportunity to recite their stories in open courtrooms can be a crucial part in the emotional healing people experience in any type of crime, reports Victims of Crimes.

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