Victim impact statements

If you’ve been a victim of a serious crime, you may be eligible to make a victim statement.

What is a victim statement?

A victim statement is a written statement that gives you the chance to tell the court – in your own words – how a crime has affected you:

  • Physically
  • Emotionally
  • Financially

A victim statement is different from any statement you may have already given separately to the police, Procurator Fiscal or defence agent.

If you’re eligible to make a victim statement, you’ll receive a letter from the Procurator Fiscal that includes:

  • A victim statement form and guidance
  • The date you need to return the form by

Your victim statement will normally be given to the court if the accused either pleads guilty or is found guilty of the relevant offence after a trial, but before a sentence is passed. A copy may also be given to the defence. The accused will be allowed to read your victim statement – normally this will only happen after they’ve plead or been found guilty. The Judge or Sheriff must consider all the circumstances of the case and your victim statement before deciding what weight should be given to it.

You do not have to make a victim statement if you don’t want to.

Victim Support Scotland can give you information on:

  • Your decision to make a victim statement
  • How the victim statement will be used
  • How to complete and submit the victim statement form

Contact us using one of the methods below or download the Scottish government’s guide to making a victim statement.

Whoever you are and whatever the crime, we’re here to help