Empathy, Narrative, and Victim Impact Statements Paper Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  979 Words
Date:  2022-07-07

Should law enforcement officers inform a crime victim about victim impact statements?

Yes, law enforcement officers should inform a crime victim about victim impact statements. It is through these statements that the victim gets a platform to detail the direct effects of a particular crime succinctly. It is paramount for the judicial system to consider the victim's perspective in all aspects of the legal process including the points of sentencing and the consideration of parole.

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Would it depend on the crime?

The decision to inform a crime victim about a victim impact statement should not depend on the crime. As long as a crime has been committed and a decision-making process is involved, the victim should be informed about the victim impact statement. Notably, the victim should be furnished with all the necessary details on any crime that has been committed against them. It is then upon the victim to decide on whether or not they would like to make an impact statement.

How would you discuss it with a victim?

Once the victim has been adequately informed about the impact statement, the next step would be to allow them to decide on whether or not they would like to make the statement. If they have any questions concerning the court case, it would be necessary to furnish them with all the essential details as this will enable their decision-making process. Next, the victim will be informed of the rules that govern the preparation of this statement. They will then declare that the statement is truthful before an authorized witness of they (victim) choose to type on the victim impact statement form.

How does this form and explanation of rights assist victims in the criminal justice process?

The victim impact statement form enables the victim to outline to the court the emotional, physical, financial, and social impacts of the crime. The explanation of rights encourages the expression of these factors truthfully in addition to assuring their freedom from any form of victimization.

Would the lack of it change the process for them?

Yes, it is possible that the lack of a victim impact statement will change the process for the victims. It is an opportunity to express their honest views concerning the crime and denying them this chance is akin to gagging the victim (Bandes, 2017).

Victim's Rights

1. Victims have the right to attend the criminal proceedings during the justice process. If the federal, state or tribal law allows, the victim has the right to testify as a witness during these proceedings.

2. The victim has a right to a speedy trial. It is upon the court to operate within the laws of the land; some of which indicate that the victim's interests be considered in matters such as the rulings on requests to delay a trial.

3. The victim has a right to information. They should be made aware of the court proceedings including the impending release of the perpetrator. Also, this information includes the knowledge about the victim's rights, support groups for coping, and information about any legal matters of the case.

4. Victims have a right to protection during and after the trial. In the cases where the victim is allowed to testify, the state should offer witness protection to avoid instances of victimization or harassment. The victim may obtain restraining orders to ensure that the perpetrator does not intimidate them in any way. Also, the court may dedicate different waiting areas to the victim so that they need not interact with the perpetrator.

5. The victim has the right to compensation in case of any damages that accrued following the crime.

6. The victim has a right to privacy. It includes the non-disclosure of their personal information such as home address, name, or court testimonies. It is upon the court to hide the victim's identity of the (victim) does not desire to be known by the public. Also, where necessary, the media can be locked out of the court proceedings to safeguard the victim's privacy (Fattah, 2016).

Victim Impact Statement

Victim's Name-

Name of Accused-

Case Number-

Should the victim impact statement be read out aloud in court? -

A very brief description of the crime

Emphasis on the briefness of the narrative because the court already knows the details hence it is needless to repeat the entire narration.

Effects of the offense on the individual and the family

Here, the victim gives a general account of the crime's impact before issuing the specifics.

Details of the emotional effects of the crime

The victim should succinctly describe any emotional damages that the offense subjected them or their household.

Aspects of the financial impact of the crime

The victim gives an account of any monetary losses that they incurred during and after the offense. It could be that an injury which resulted from the crime prohibits the victim from going to work hence failing to get a paycheck. Such are the issues to be addressed here.

Details of the physical impacts of the crime

Here, it is necessary to indicate any injuries that resulted from the encounter.

Description of the social effects of the crime

The victim suggests the social restrictions that followed the offense. It could be, for instance, that the victim is unable to engage in outdoor activities because of the trauma caused by the incident hence the choice to delink them from any socialization.

End the statement by imploring the court to serve the deserved justice.

At this point, it is necessary not to give a prescription to the judge. It may be a simple statement indicating the need for justice.

The statutory declaration

Here, the victim appends to what they have written as being truthful. They acknowledge that any falsified statement attracts perjury-related charges.


Bandes, S. (2017). Empathy, narrative, and victim impact statements. In Nussbaum and Law (pp. 225-276). Routledge.

Fattah, E. A. (Ed.). (2016). Towards a critical victimology. Springer.

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Empathy, Narrative, and Victim Impact Statements Paper Example. (2022, Jul 07). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/empathy-narrative-and-victim-impact-statements-paper-example

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