Vol 6 No 1 (2015)

Victim Narratives and Therapeutic Justice

Heather B. F. Griffith
Athabasca University
Published July 9, 2015


Victim narratives and Victim Impact Statements are an opportunity for expression for victims of crime. However, victims often express dissatisfaction with the process of writing Victim Impact Statements and the subsequent ways in which those statements are used in criminal justice processes. This paper explores how the current practice fails to address problems associated with loss of voice as experienced by victims as primary stakeholders in the justice process. I conclude with a list of recommendations for victim writing in the context of therapeutic and restorative justice that are best implemented through victims’ services and supports. These recommendations can be implemented without compromising the needs or processes of the justice system. Keywords: victim narratives, victim impact statements, narrative expression, therapeutic justice, restorative justice