Victim Impact Statement

When someone pleads guilty or is found guilty in court, all victims have a right to submit a victim impact statement (sometimes called a “personal statement”) before the judge decides on a sentence. Providing a victim impact statement is a right but not a requirement.

A victim Impact Statement is an opportunity to let the offender know how the crime has impacted you emotionally, physically, and financially. The statement should be in your own words and does not require the help of a solicitor.

Writing a Victim Impact Statement can be a difficult process. It can be challenging to put into words the devastating impact a crime has had on you and/or your family. Sometimes court cases can have lengthy delays and it may be years after the crime when a victim is asked to make a statement. By this time, the victim may have taken many steps to heal and move on from the incident. Revisiting painful emotions and memories can be re-traumatising for victims.

No one else can write the statement for a victim however it is important that they have support through the process. People who can support victims through the process of writing and/or presenting a Victim Impact Statement are victim support organisations, the investigating Garda, family and friends.

The DPP has written a useful resource, Making a Victim Impact Statement, that provides more information.


How to Report a Crime

If you are in immediate danger or there is an emergency, you should dial the Garda emergency number at 999 or 112.


Garda Investigations

The first Garda you speak to will take down your information (such as name, address, date of birth and phone number) and the basic details of what happened.


Decision to Prosecute

When an investigation is completed, a decision is made whether to prosecute someone for the crime. The decision to prosecute is sometimes called “file charges”.


Director of Public Prosecution

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decides whether or not to charge people for committing serious crimes and what the charges should be. The DPP is also responsible for prosecuting indictable offenses.


Courts Process

When the Gardaí or the DPP decide to prosecute, the case then goes to court. Most of the time, the investigating Garda will be the person who informs you about court dates and other developments.


Victim Impact Statement

When someone pleads guilty or is found guilty in court, all victims have a right to submit a victim impact statement (sometimes called a “personal statement”) before the judge decides on a sentence. Providing a victim impact statement is a right but not a requirement.


After Prosecution

When someone is convicted of a crime, they are sometimes sentenced to spend time in custody. Adults are placed in prison or the Central Mental Hospital. Juveniles are placed at the Oberstown Children Detention Campus.


Restorative Justice

Is a term to describe a variety of practices that seek to provide opportunities for perpetrators to repair the harm they have done. The process generally requires the person to admit responsibility for the crime.


Get Help Now

The Crime Victims Helpline is a listening and support service for victims of crime in Ireland. We provide time and space for victims to talk about their experiences. We also answer questions about the criminal justice system and help victims understand their rights.

Support Services

If you or a friend or family member has been impacted by crime, there are a number of organization in Ireland who can help.