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The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

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  1. Making a Victim Impact Statement

 

Making a Victim Impact Statement


On the 8th of July 2013, the Garda Commissioner, along with the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence and the Director of Public Prosecutions launched Guidelines entitled ‘Making a Victim Impact Statement’.


The guidelines were developed through a partnership of An Garda Síochána, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Victims of Crime Office.


Mr. Alan Shatter T. D., Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence welcomed the guidance and stated: "The victim impact statement provides a unique opportunity for victims of crime and families of those who have died as a result of a crime to move from being passive spectators in the criminal justice system, to give an account, in their own words, of the effect that the crime has had on them, be it physical, emotional, psychological or financial. The work between the Gardaí, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and my Department on the current guidance document gives me hope that we can create a more humane system which, respecting fully the rights of the accused, can accommodate the legitimate needs of the victim and ensure the voice of the victim is heard."


At the launch of the Guidelines, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan stressed the important place that victims have within the criminal justice system and the continuing efforts to ensure their needs are meet. He said this was evidenced by the presence of all the stakeholders, including victims groups, at the launch. The Commissioner looked forward to these organisations continuing to work closely together and in support of all efforts to make victims central to the criminal justice process.  


Claire Loftus, Director of Public Prosecutions highlighted the importance of clear, accessible language when presenting information for victims and noted that the guidance is aimed at victims of crime and that she believed that victims will benefit if the information presented to them is clear, concise and accurate.

The guidelines include information for the victim on:
What is a Victim Impact Statement and who can make one?
When do I make my Victim Impact Statement and what can I say?
How do I make a Victim Impact Statement and can I get someone to help me?
What happens to my Victim Impact Statement and can I be asked about it?

The guidelines are available to download at www.garda.ie, www.victimsofcrimeoffice.ie and www.dppireland.ie