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Any advice for writing a victim impact statement

Discussion in 'Death' started by brokenEMT, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. brokenEMT

    brokenEMT Well-Known Member

    This April will be 15 years since my 3 year old niece was murdered, and the victim impact statement will be used as a form of therapy. I'm looking for any advice from anyone who has written one, whether or not it was actually used in court.
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  3. Supervixn

    Supervixn Well-Known Member Premium Member

    I kept mine as factual as possible. I tried to stay away from victimhood, which was incredibly hard. Just be honest. Edit and re edit if needed. I just wanted to convey the truth.
  4. Swift

    Swift I'm a VIP

    Hey. I had to write a similar thing for an enquiry. I had a great therapist at the time, and getting him to read through it, he just suggested one or two additions, worked really well. I also found the process pretty difficult, like, the actual writing was tough to do. A mate volunteered to check in with me through the process, never actually let him read it but went out for coffee just to talk about random things (not trauma) after I'd done a coupla hours writing it really helped. It brought a lot of feelings back and I kinda felt ways I didn't expect to about the whole thing. I had to ramp up my self-care pretty hard during the writing of it. I hope yours goes okay, be gentle with yourself. I'm sorry for your loss.
    littleoc, ladee and hodge like this.
  5. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    I've never had the opportunity to write a victim impact statement, though I should have written several in my life. I was a professional reference writer and editor before PTSD took that away, so I would be happy to look over whatever you come up with, though I think you'll do fine, @brokenEMT. You are smart and articulate. But if you'd like another eye beforehand, I'm here.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2018
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  6. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    I don't know other than to say maybe that you will never be able to know the person that she would have been. The achievements she would have made and the contributions she would have made to society. I think that you need to make her a person, not someone that has been murdered.

    Honestly I don't know how you will get through this without emotions, and not making the court feel your pain!!! I wish you the best!!!!
    littleoc likes this.
  7. Treaty

    Treaty Active Member

    I put a guilt trip in there. I said that the hardest part was not knowing how it would end and worrying that I would never be as healthy ever again. I know it’s not about guilt but it still feels good to have said that.

    Also my gosh so sorry for your loss.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2018
  8. brokenEMT

    brokenEMT Well-Known Member

    having someone check on you, to get you out of the writing and out of your own head... that's a great idea that I hadn't considered.

    thanks @hodge, I appreciate the offer.

    that's a brilliant piece of advice. The murder is something that happened to her, but it doesn't define who she is.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2018
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  9. brokenEMT

    brokenEMT Well-Known Member

    I don't anticipate that this will ever be read in court, her homicide is a cold case. We know generally what happened, and we know who was involved, but there's a difference between knowing, and being able to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Especially Canadian law. The perps are each blaming each other, and there was no weapon used, so can't tie fingerprints or dna to it.

    This statement is for me, and my healing. I might put it in the obits in April.
    littleoc, hodge and She Cat like this.
  10. Swift

    Swift I'm a VIP

    Thanks. Hope you do it, really made a difference to me.
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  11. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

    A victims statement is for those who lost someone they loved to tell a judge/obit/themselves what the loss meant to them.

    Tell your story. Talk about the two of you, what you meant to each other, what you did on a good day. Give her(?) a name that others will remember through your words. Talk about the loss -- what that meant to you and others. Talk about the joy she brought to you and others. Speak for her.

    I'm also happy to take a look at it if you would like -- I know how gut wrenching they can be. Which means --- take care of yourself. Writing one of these can rip the bandaid off old injuries and bring them right back to the surface. Or it can bring you closure and peace because you have had a chance to talk about the loss. You won't know until after you have done it. So have some plans in place for self care before you start.
    littleoc likes this.
  12. Enaila

    Enaila Well-Known Member Donated

    I have written an impact statement and while it was over something so minor compared to the loss you endured, it did help me realize how the perpetrators actions did affect me emotionally. The judge did read parts of the letter aloud to the perpetrator stating, while what the perpetrator didn't think what she was doing would hurt anyone, the lady had indeed affected the feeling of safety and security of the victim. The judge stressed the crime was not victimless.

    I know my T would have me write a letter to the one I may have lost if it had been a murder. Maybe write a letter to your niece saying all the things you would have said to her had she been alive....share the things you would have done with her, etc. I know writing letters to those I have lost to death has helped me grieve. Maybe the format of a letter to the lost one will demonstrate the impact of the loss caused by the murder.
    brokenEMT, littleoc and Freida like this.
  13. Vee

    Vee Active Member

    Write two. In the first one, write everything you truly want to say and every curse word, emotion, etc. then take a highlighter and pull the basics out of it. Put those into the second letter that you will actually read in court.
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