Your Victim Impact Statement (VIS) is your chance to talk about how you feel, and what has happened to you because of the crime.
What to include in your VIS
There is no set way to prepare a VIS - you can use the VIS form or write your own.
The court wants to hear about how the crime affected you in your own words. You should not use the VIS to describe the crime or to abuse the offender (or anyone else).
You should explain how the crime has affected you emotionally, physically, financially and socially.
You might want to describe any emotional impacts of the crime, including:
- your general feelings of wellbeing or enjoyment of life
- how the crime has affected any relationships (with your partner, family, friends or co-workers)
- any emotions or feelings related to the crime (such as hurt, anger, fear, frustration)
- effects on your lifestyle and activities (such as trouble sleeping, eating, working)
- psychological effects of the crime, including any treatment required (such as depression, anxiety, stress).
This might include:
- injuries as a result of the crime (such as broken bones, nerve damage)
- how injuries have affected your life (such as work, sport or leisure activities)
- any long term impacts of injuries on your life
- any medical treatment required including future or ongoing medical treatment.
This might include:
- loss of earnings because of the crime (if a physical or psychological injury has affected your ability to work)
- general expenses caused by the crime (such as home security, replacing items)
- travel expenses because of the crime (such as court appearances)
- medical treatment needed because of the crime (such as ongoing treatment for a recurring injury the crime caused).
You might describe problems the crime has caused in your daily life, including how the crime has affected:
- work or study commitments
- family or social life (friendships, social events, sporting commitments)
- how safe you feel.
Some people find it useful to think about how their life has changed since the crime, and how they see their future.
When a crime has caused the death of a loved one, you might want to describe how your life has changed, and what you miss most about them.
Every VIS must have a statutory declaration at the end.
A statutory declaration is a statement signed by you and declared to be true and correct in front of an authorised witness.
This can be a:
- police officer
- bank manager
- state school principal.
By signing the statutory declaration, you agree your statement is true.
You can be charged with making a false statement (called 'perjury') if you include information you know is not true.
You must be as accurate as possible with the information in your VIS.
Children and young people
A child who is a victim of crime is also entitled to provide a VIS.
Children have the option of writing a letter or a poem, drawing a picture or expressing themselves in some other written work.
Asking for help
It can be difficult to put your experience into words, so you are entitled to some additional help.
For support, you can contact:
- the investigating officer or prosecutor
- the Witness Assistance Officer (if you have one)
- the Commissioner for Victims' Rights.