Stop Censoring Victims- SST Call To Courts
A petition has been presented at parliament demanding an end to a court’s ability to amend and censor Victim Impact Statements.
“Victim Impact Statements should give an ability for victims to speak about the considerable damage the offender’s crimes have caused, and how it has impacted their lives - but that is not the case," says Darroch Ball co-leader of Sensible Sentencing Trust.
“Increasingly courts have been forcing victims of crime and their families to delete and amend parts of the statements they read in court.”
“This is another clear example of how much the justice system has become offender-centric and ignoring victims throughout the process.”
“Victims have the right, during the sentencing process to express the impact an offender’s actions had on their lives. This is their only opportunity to be heard. By forcing them to amend and censor their statements, the courts are taking that right away and silencing victim’s voices.”
“Victims should be central to the justice system and victim’s rights should remain a top priority. Unfortunately, we are increasingly seeing offender’s rights and considerations being the sole focus.”
“Courts should not be allowed to alter, amend, or censor a victim’s voice in the courtroom," says Mr Ball.