How Victim Impact Statements Can Be Improved

Guide for Victim Impact Statements

In 2009, the Victim Impact Statement programme was created. It was designed to provide some major crime victims with a chance to tell the court how certain acts have affected them physically, emotionally, and financially. If you are in the need of some crime impact statement advice then consult a professional or use the internet.

Numerous people who have benefited from such efforts with victims have shared with experts that they believe that drafting the declaration aids them to digest what they have gone through. Others opt not to finish it since it is a tedious and challenging task.

1. Enable More Individuals to Submit Victim Impact Statement

Presently, victim impact statement may only be made in connection with a select few crimes, and there are tight requirements for who can contribute to one that doesn’t take into consideration complicated family and neighbourhood ties. The consultation proposed expanding the offences for which a victim might provide a statement. We have found that a crime’s purported “seriousness” has minimal influence on the pain a victim may go through. The criminal justice system will provide victims of all crimes with a crucial chance to express how their experiences have influenced them by permitting them to submit impact statements.

2. Expand the Possibilities for How a Statement Might Be Expressed

Presently, the only way to file a victim impact statement is on a handwritten form provided by the Victims Information & Advice (VIA) service. Providing an impact statement is much more challenging for those who have trouble writing in English and for kids who might choose nonverbal communication. Victims frequently tell Victim Support that they feel neglected or unseen in the legal and judicial processes. This issue could be partially addressed by enabling victims to give their impact statements in the manner that is the most comfortable for them, whether that is an audio recording, a sketch, a photo, or by the statement being read in court.

3. Enable Electronic Submission of Statements

Frequently, victims will visit VSS 24–48 hours before the due date for submitting their impact statement to get assistance with finishing it. The existing procedure requires victims to fill out a form using their handwriting and mail it back. Victims can profit from resources like spell checkers if they are unsure of their writing abilities by having the option to fill it out and send it online. They would also be able to get immediate verification that their statement has been obtained.

4. More Specific Details on What They Can Contain

The language and terms used by the court system are frequently complex and incomprehensible, which is a common criticism made by victims. Individuals routinely seek our assistance when they are unsure about what they may and cannot mention in their statements. In the past, experts have attempted to create court tools that use terminology that is more understandable and straightforward. To enhance the current plan, this would be a straightforward adjustment to make.

5. Enable Victims To Give Their Impact Statement

All crime victims in England have access to the Victim Personal Statement (VPS) form at the same time they provide the police with a witness statement. In 2018/2019, 55% of the victims who have been offered the chance to speak out did so. Nevertheless, experts also recognise that processing and coming to grips with the trauma they have encountered can take a long time. As part of this engagement procedure, it is important to consider giving victims the choice to provide both a witness statement and an effective statement.

After The Case

Your Victim Impact Statement will become a component of the official court record once the case is over. After a case has concluded, any member of the general public, including a journalist, may request to view the court file. Reports in newspapers and other media aren’t allowed to identify sexual assault victims. The media would be informed if the court discusses your Victim Impact Statement during the sentencing hearing. If the Supreme Court took up the case, their opinions would likewise be made public via a database.

Final Words

Any victim of a crime may submit a victim impact statement to the court to explain how the incident has influenced them.

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