Source: (2000) Paper presented at the 10th International Symposium on Victimology held in Montreal, Canada, 6-11 August.

Victim impact statements constitute one of the ways in which victims of crime are participating more significantly in the criminal justice system in recent years. The purpose of a victim impact statement is to present the victim’s perspective to the sentencing authority as part of the sentencing process. In this paper, Anna van der Hoven discusses the status of victim impact statements in the South African criminal justice system. She writes that the use of such statements is still in its infancy and seldom are they submitted. To highlight the situation in South Africa as well as the value of impact statements, she summarizes a particular case in which she assisted a crime victim in preparing and presenting a victim impact statement.