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Victim Impact Statement

As a victim of a crime you have the right to make a Victim Impact Statement or if the victim is deceased, their family can make a statement to the Court. Where the victim is a child, a parent or guardian may also make a Victim Impact Statement on their behalf. This is an opportunity for the victim to have a voice at Court and let the Judge or Magistrate and the defendant know how you have been harmed by the crime and any on-going impact this may have had on your life.

Victim Impact Statements are provided to the Court through the prosecutor where the defendant has been found guilt of the crime and the Court is considering what sentence to impose. It is usually provided in a written form but where the victim wishes they can also ask to read it or have it read to the Court. The Judge or Magistrate will need to agree to this first but the prosecutor can make an application for this to happen.

Preparing a Victim Impact Statement is voluntary and if you choose not to make one the Court will not assume that there has been no harm suffered; however victims are encouraged to make a statement so the Court and the defendant understand how this has affected you and considers your wishes in regard to sentencing options.

The Witness Assistance Service will assist victims to prepare their statements if they want help in doing this. Victims are entitled to change their Victim Impact Statement at anytime prior to sentencing if they wish to add or amend what they may have originally written. To do this they just need to contact the Witness Assistance Service. Click on A guide to preparing a Victim Impact Statement for more information on writing a statement.

There are two Victim Impact Statement forms available for you to use, you only need to choose one form.

Form A is standard PDF form that people can use if they want to hand write a short statement. This form provides specific sections to address with pointers on what to include.

Form B ‚Äčis a form in Word that people can use if they want to type their statement or need more space than available on the standard form.

Anything you include must be truthful, accurate and relate to the crime for which the defendant has been guilty but you do not need to include any details about the crime itself as this information will already be before the Court.

It is important that you sign and date your Victim Impact Statement; this can then be handed or posted to the Witness Assistance Service in your local area or handed to your local Police Station if you live in the Northern Territory. If you are able to scan the document once you have signed it you may email it to your Witness Assistance Service Officer.