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As a victim of crime, you have the right to tell the judge who will be sentencing the offender how the crime changed you and your family’s life financially, physically and emotionally. You can explain any concerns or fears you may have about your safety. The victim impact statement will also help the judge decide how to best hold the offender accountable for the harm they have caused.

You may want an advocate at a Victim Service Program to help you write the victim impact statement that will be given to the judge before the offender is sentenced, or you can tell the judge in court at the time of sentencing how the crime affected you and your family.

The victim impact statement should also be given to the appropriate court personnel so that it can become part of the offender’s pre-sentence investigation. One of the rights of victims of crime is to present a victim impact statement to the sentencing judge and to receive assistance from an advocate in preparing the statement.