Victim Impact Statement Booklet

Things to Avoid: • Try not to repeat evidence presented in the trial. • Don’t vent your anger toward the court or the offender. Your goal is to express your hurt and your pain. • Try not to focus on what you want to happen to the offender while in prison. If your state law allows you to express your wishes for the sentence, do so – but avoid being descriptive about the harm that you may wish imposed. • Don’t ask for a confession from the offender. The offender’s attorneys will advise their client not to confess to the crime, even if they are found guilty. If you have an interest in meeting with the offender, it may be possible to arrange a meeting at a later time. • Avoid copying another person’s Victim Impact Statement. Examples may be helpful; however, someone else’s story is not your story.

What to include in your Victim Impact Statement As you consider how the crime has changed you and/or your

loved one’s life, you may use the following questions to guide you. Remembering and writing about something so painful may be difficult for you. Pace yourself and don’t feel that you have to complete your draft in one sitting. Be gentle with yourself and take as many breaks as you need.

Be gentle with yourself.

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