24 Hour Victim Hotline
Article 1, Section 35 of the Washington State Constitution and RCW 7.69 provide crime victims with statutory rights. We will make every effort to ensure you are afforded these rights.
Advocates Working Together Serving Victims of Crime
What is a Victim Impact Statement and how is it used?
Victim Impact Statements provide an opportunity for your voice to be heard by our criminal justice system. When completed, it is an important document that describes how the crime has affected you and your loved ones, and provides input to the court concerning how best to hold the offender accountable for the harm s/he has caused.
As a crime victim, you have the opportunity to use this statement to describe how this crime affected you and others close to you. This statement has space for you to:
If the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty after trial, you also have a right to address the court verbally. If you would like to do so, the Crime Victim Advocate is available to assist you in the process.
Completing the Statement is Voluntary - You do not have to fill out a victim impact statement. However, it may be helpful to the judge when he or she decides what sentence the defendant should receive, and/or any money the defendant may have to reimburse you for expenses you have paid or owe because of this crime. If the judge orders the defendant to pay you restitution, there is no guarantee when the defendant will be able to pay or if the entire amount will be paid. However, a court order for the full amount of your losses is an important component for victims to pursue civil remedies for all of the financial losses associated with this crime. Whether or not you choose to submit a victim impact statement is a decision made by you and your family. It is a voluntary right that you have as a victim of crime.
Suggestions for Completing Your Victim Impact Statement - Please answer as many questions as you wish. If you need more space, you can use additional pages and simply attach them to the form when you return it.
Only you know how to best describe the effects this crime has had on you and those close to you. We realize it may be difficult to describe in words how this crime has affected you, your family and friends. However, your input is vital to determining a sentence that is fair and just, and holding the offender accountable for the harm s/he caused you. The questions that follow are designed to help you and your family complete this important process.
If you would like to tell the court about the emotional impact of this crime, you may wish to consider:
If you or your family members were injured, you may wish to tell the court about the physical impact of this crime. You may wish to describe:
VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT
1. Please describe how this crime has affected you/your family/significant other.
2. What was the emotional impact of this crime on you/your family/significant other?
3. What was the financial impact of this crime on you/your family/significant other?
4. What was the physical impact of this crime on you/your family/significant other?
5. What concerns do you have, if any, about your/your family/significant others’ safety and security?
6. Is there any other information you would like to share with the court regarding the offense, and how it affected you and your family?
Date Statement Prepared:
Feel free to contact an advocate for assistance with this statement.