The Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) requires the impact of the crime on victims to be taken into account during sentencing.
The court must consider:
- the impact of the offence on any victim of the offence
- the personal circumstances of any victim of the offence
- any injury, loss or damage resulting directly from the offence.
Victim Impact Statements
One way a court can determine the impact of a crime on a victim is through a Victim Impact Statement. All or part of the Victim Impact Statement may be read or presented to the court at sentencing. It may include photographs, drawings, poems and other material relating to the impact of the offence on the victim.
Resources for People Affected by Crime
Different government agencies provide resources for people affected by crime:
- Victims of Crime website includes information about court process and the support services available to help people manage the effects of crime
- Victims of Crime Commissioner website contains information on the types of issues the Commissioner investigates and how to report an issue
- Judicial College of Victoria’s Victims of Crime in the Courtroom: A Guide for Judicial Officers is a guide to how judicial officers and court staff can influence a victim’s experience of the justice system
- Victims and Witness Assistance Service provides support for victims and witnesses of serious crime through the court process
- Victims of Crime Helpline offers advice and support for people affected by crime (call 1800 819 817 or text 0427 767 891 between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. seven days a week).
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