Emotional impact of crime

Crime can have a big impact on victims and their families. It can also have an impact on friends and the community.

Everyone reacts differently to a crime. Some common effects are:

  • Increased concern for personal safety
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Depression, change in moods
  • Anxiety and worry
  • Going over things in your mind again and again such as the events of the crime or thinking about what might have gone differently
  • Difficulties from financial loss
  • Sadness at the loss of a family member, friend or community member

All of these reactions are normal and may decrease with time. Contact with support services and counsellors may help in overcoming some of these impacts. The Witness Assistance Service can assist with making referrals for counselling and support.

A victim has the right to write a Victim Impact Statement (VIS) for the court if their cases involves actual or threatened violence (including sexual assault). A VIS can be given to the Local, District or Supreme Courts or Children's Court. The VIS is about the personal harm suffered by the victim as a direct result of the offence and can be given to the court if the accused either pleads guilty or is found guilty. The VIS is given to the court before the accused is sentenced and the victim can read their VIS at the sentencing hearing. In the case of family victims the VIS relates to the impact of the death of the primary victim on immediate family members who can write a VIS

For more information on victim impact statements, click here.