3-1 Practice Activity: Victim Impact Statement


In this activity, you will explore the experience of the victim in the criminal justice system. You will choose a scenario and write a victim impact statement from the perspective of the victim in the scenario.


In this module, you learned about victim impact statements (VISs). VISs commonly address “the harm or trauma, the economic loss or damage to victims as a result of the crime, and a victim’s reaction to the proposed sentence or disposition” (Takahashi & James, 2019). They can be in written format, in an oral presentation, or even a pre-recorded audio file or video. For this practice activity, the format will be written. First, read each of the scenarios below. Next, choose one of the scenarios. Then, explain the purpose and effect of VISs. Last, write a VIS from the perspective of the victim in the scenario chosen.

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Scenario 1:
It’s a normal sunny Saturday afternoon. Your spouse asks you if you want to take a ride up the coast. You hesitantly agree because you need to pick the twins up at your mother’s house. Your spouse suggests that you both pick up the twins early and make it a fun family day. You and your spouse pick up your twin boys, and you begin your journey. You enjoy the warmth of the sun beating down on your face as you close your eyes to soak in the heat. Then you wake up in an emergency room. Your spouse and two children are gone. You learn that a drunk driver crossed over into your lane and hit your vehicle head-on, killing your spouse and children instantly. The drunk driver walked away without injury.

Scenario 2:
You are a single mother of an 11-year-old boy. He is a good student but has had difficulty making friends. Recently you’ve noticed he has been hanging around an older boy from the neighborhood. You have heard rumors about this older boy being “bad news.” As your son begins to hang around with this boy, his grades decline, and now you are worried for your son. You confront your son about his new friend, and he becomes angry. He storms out of the house and goes missing for two days. On the third day, you hear a knock on the door. It is the police. They have found your son. He has been shot and killed in a gang-related shooting. You discover that the older boy is part of the gang and that he is the one who shot your son because he wanted his sneakers, which you had just bought for him for his birthday, and your son did not want to give them to him.

Specifically, the following rubric criteria must be addressed for your chosen scenario:

  • Explain the purpose and effect of victim impact statements (50–100 words)
  • Craft a victim impact statement from the perspective of the victim (150–200 words)

What to Submit

This assignment should be 200 to 300 words in length. Any references must be cited in APA style. See the Shapiro Library APA Style Guide for more information on citations.

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