Department of Justice

Understanding the Court Process

Victim Services

Victim Impact Statements

A Victim Impact Statement is a description of how a crime has affected the victim. It helps the Crown and judge understand the physical, emotional and financial harm that a victim experienced. It is your opportunity to have your voice heard.

A Victim Impact Statement is used in sentencing, after the accused has pleaded guilty or been found guilty. A Victim Impact Statement is not used to help determine if the accused is guilty or innocent.

A statement is usually prepared in writing and submitted to the court. However, victims can also read their statement out in court.

Who may do a Victim Impact Statement?

If you or a family member have suffered physical, emotional or financial harm because of a crime, you may complete a Victim Impact Statement. Victims don’t have to complete a statement. It is voluntary.

A Victim Service Worker, friend or family member may help you if you are having difficulty writing about how the crime has affected you. But the statement needs to reflect your thoughts and feelings.

If a victim is not able to complete a Victim Impact Statement, someone else may be able to complete the statement on the victim’s behalf. Contact to Victim Services learn about your options.

How to prepare a Victim Impact Statement

A Victim Impact Statement should be written in your own words.

  • Describe how the crime affected you and your family.
  • Do not include a description of the crime or how it occurred. Focus on how the crime impacted you.
  • Avoid comments about the accused or about the sentence you think they deserve. If you are concerned about having contact with the accused, you should describe that concern in your Victim Impact Statement.
  • If a question on the form doesn't apply to you, or if you don't want to answer it, you don't have to fill it out.

When should a Victim Impact Statement be prepared?

You can write your statement any time after a charge is laid, but before sentencing. It must get to the judge before the accused is sentenced.

The information in your Victim Impact Statement can also be used to assist the court at bail and probation hearings, especially if you have indicated that you do not wish the accused to have contact with you.

The form

You can download a Victim Impact Statement Form and either complete it online or print it out to fill in by hand. You can also get forms from Victim Services.

Completed forms can be returned to the Victim Services Unit. See our contact page for details.

Victim Impact Statement - Microsoft Word

Victim Impact Statement - Fillable PDF