Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Victim Impact Statement

I have been thinking a lot about my victim impact statement lately, and how writing it and then reading it in court provided some emotional healing for me. It helped me articulate how much my life changed forever, immediately when I found out Nathan was killed.

I wanted the judge, Chan, and my friends and family who attended the sentencing hearing to know the things I had to do in the days and weeks following Nathan's death. I wanted them to hear the truth about what my life had become because of Chan's selfish decision to drink and drive.

I will never know whether my statement had any influence over the judge when she sentenced Chan to 20 years in prison with 5 years suspended, but that is of little importance to me. What’s important is that my victim impact statement provided me with some sort of relief at a time of such darkness in my life.

When I first sat down to draft my VIS, I remember Googling the term "victim impact statement" to find a definition and maybe some written examples. I just wanted to get an idea of what I should write and how long it should be. The Virginia guidelines for writing a VIS gave me basic information, but I wasn’t really able to find many written examples.

I soon realized that the VIS is a very personal document, and this might be why people choose not to make theirs available online. Before I wrote or typed anything, I often found myself composing the VIS in my head before I fell asleep at night and when I woke in the morning.

One day, I found that I had some quiet time, so I opened a blank document on my computer and began to type. It took me only a couple hours to complete my first draft, then proceeded to nit-pick and edit it over the course of a few weeks.

I completed my final draft as I sat in court on April 21, 2008, five minutes before I was to get up on the stand and read it aloud. I furiously scribbled changes and crossed out lines to make sure I said everything I needed to.

It was one of the most emotional experiences of my life; I was nervous and had to stop a couple times because I was crying, but I got through it. I was glad to have the opportunity to speak in front of Chan.

I have included my VIS on this blog with the hope of helping someone who has the unfortunate task of writing one. I want to provide a starting point for someone who is looking for the courage and direction to begin writing such an important, personal statement.

Other than state guidelines, there’s no wrong or right way to write a VIS. There is, however, the opportunity to express the impact that a crime has had on one’s life.

If you have come across this blog post while in search of a victim impact statement example, you probably have to write one yourself. I'm very sorry that you're in this position, but also hopeful that I can help. I wish you strength and peace as you face this challenge.

Lastly, I ask that my VIS not be copied or reproduced in any way without my permission. My VIS serves as a statement for me only, and I expect that the only things taken from these pages are true sentiment and honesty. Click here to view it on Scribd.com, or click on the pages, one by one, below.

My mom and dad asked that I post their victim impact statements, too, so that they could possibly help someone. I uploaded them to Scribd.com.

Click here for my mom's VIS.

Click here for my dad's VIS.


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62 comments:

Anonymous said...

In also looking for a VIS statement to understand the format to include in the heading of the statement, because my girlfriend 17yr old son was murdered June 2007.
As I kept I could not leave the site about Nathan. As I looked through each picture I could not help but imagine the pain you must have felt.

tam said...

I too was looking for a statement to write..My only sister was shot and killed on April 13, 2008..On Aug 3rd, 2009 I go to give my impact statement...My heart goes out to all of your family and friends...God Bless you all and Thank you for the help

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting your VIS. My son was killed by a drunk driver on August 16 last year, just 2 blocks from our home. The driver had a blood alcohol level that was almost three times the legal limit. I have struggled with writing my VIS for the sentencing next month. Reading your has helped.

Anonymous said...

As I was on-line looking for help in writing my VIS I came across your site. I want to first off tell you and your family how sorry I am for your loss. I would also like to thank you for posting it as a tool for those of us that have to do the same horrible thing you had to do in writing one ourselves. On June 1, 2008 my 41 year old sister-in-law and her 17 year old son were on their way to his best friends graduation party. They were hit by another 17 year old driver that crossed the center line - completely - and hit them head on and killed them both instantly. My brother and his other son lost half of their family. The rest of us lost a huge part of our family as well and had to watch as our brother/son/uncle, nephew/grandson/cousin tried to deal with it all. They are still dealing with it, as are you. Thank you again and God be with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Your brother sounds like a super cool guy and I am very, very sorry for your loss. I am still struggling with my husband's murder by a family member he loved dearly. Trial has been delayed and delayed. I have to write a VIS and I am paralyzed by the thought of inadequately capturing what a bright light my husband was to me and so many others. Thank you so much for sharing your impact statement.

Kamala said...

I want to thank you for posting your VIS online so that we could have a place to go in search of how to write one of our own. My father-in-law was beat to death in his own home June 4, 2008. The trial starts tomorrow for the lady you set it up. I am so sorry for your lost, God Bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Lindsay - THANK YOU for posting this. I am in the middle of the first degree murder trial for my older brother who was killed in the line of duty as a police officer. We have about a week before we will have to read our VISs and I (along with the rest of my family) have been struggling with writing my statement for all of the reasons you note in your posting. EVERYTHING you articulate in your statement I can relate to. EVERYTHING. Thank you for posting it and allowing someone in the depths of the writing process see a bit of light as to how a statement can be written and how powerful it can be.... THANK YOU for being so generous. Please know that your original goal of helping others has most definitely been met. I wish you were never in a position to help someone like me as I go through this process. That being said, if you have to be, I am grateful for your generosity. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

My brother was hit by a drunk driver while riding his bike. altho he did not die he has a catastrophic brain injury and will live the rest of his life forever changed. i will be reading a vis next month. I have completed mine but wanted to make sure i was on the right track. Thank you for posting yours.. it is a very personal thing, I thank you for sharing it with all of us and helping all the victims out there.
I am very sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Came in search of a sample VIS; stayed and learned from your blog about what to expect on this journey I've just begun.

Lost my younger brother and only sibling on 11/9/2009, the day before his birthday. He was killed by an elderly driver as he slowed his motorcycle to go over a speed bump in the parking lot at his place of employment. Criminal case to be decided a week from Monday: since it's considered a misdemeanor, the worst sentence the killer can get is a $500 fine and suspension of license for one year.

You've given me lots of ideas about how to channel the outrage I feel over how lightly state law takes this kind of crime. What's the difference, really, between people who get behind the wheel while drunk and those who get behind the wheel knowing their vision is failing, or who are so addled by tasks like driving that they confuse the gas and brake pedals?? The VIS is the one chance I will get to make the killer and her adult children realize what they've taken from me and my family.

Thanks for the chance to vent, but especially thank you for sharing your story and helping so many of us who are enduring this unspeakable pain.

Roseanna said...

Thanks you so much for sharing - I (like others in this forum) am preparing to write a VIS. Like you I too lost my brother in 2007 only in my case he was beaten to death by 5 young people. I have many of the same challenges as you have; the lack of desire to socialize and even spend time with my extended family, the grief that I am not longer the same and the lasting impression of seeing my brothers beaten body as he fought for his life in intensive care. I fight hard every day to try and find some sense of understanding as to how I might forgive these people and continue living my own life as a good person but the painful hurt that reeks my heart makes this process near impossible. I smile on the outside yet I cry unceasingly inside. I too could give up on life and yet the craziness of it all is knowing that my brother would simply say - "don't worry about it all - live life everyday as though it were for me."

My hope for a better tomorrow has been reading your VIS which reminds me, others are walking the same winding road as me. It has also helped me to begin writing my own. Thank you and I hope the sunshines for you very soon...

Anonymous said...

"To live a life I don't recognize and be a person I don't know.."
Your statement is so powerful and so true. My son was killed by a drunk driver June of 2008. The drunk who killed him was just sentenced. He was given ten years. My husband and I both spoke at the sentencing. It was so emotionally draining - the finale of twenty months of being dragged through the judicial system that is so careful to protect the criminal and often so careless with the family of the victims. Thank you for sharing your very personal words. It grieves me to know your pain as well as I do. I hope you (and I) will know peace one day.

antonia said...

Thank you and so sorry for your loss. My 6 year old daughter was raped by a 17 year old family friend. the trial begins 4/26/10.. I want her voice to be heard. Thank you again

Anonymous said...

I can not understand your loss (I havent lost a love one although it was close), but I can indentify with your pain - a world without my sister would never be same. You are brave to open your heart and thoughts to the world...

For those of us who came close to loosing a love one - you make us realise we were lucky.

For those who read this genuine tribute from a loving brother (written as a VIS)..

Love you family, cherish every second and most importantly be vigilant at prosecuting those who break the law, harm others...change the laws where we need the stronger or to make people more accountable for their actions.

As you have made us all very aware of "you only have one Nathan!" He is irreplacable and now a memory cherished by many.

Thank you for your bravery! and bless your parents for having such amazing, strong and precious children..

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. It is a pain that never goes away. My mother's life was taken a week after my wedding in October 2009and the trial is on monday. She was killed by a drunk driver also. I have already finished my VIS and it is with the Judge right now for review. I am so nervous for Monday, it flips my stomach knowing that I will have to face the man that killed my mother. I found myself googling VIS to maybe find some comfort for Monday to make sure I am really ready. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. It breaks my heart to see other people go through the pain that I have been dealing with over the past couple months. Take care and your family is in my prayers!

Jill said...

My husband, best friend and soul mate was murdered on June 3, 2010. In our state, we must give a VIS at the arraignment. Thank you for sharing...I am still in shock as I search for examples to try and relive what I cannot believe has even happened. You have inspired me to share mine as well, as we are now in the unfortunate category of "crime victim". This is a horrific journey and to be able to help anyone along the way is a gift. Thank you.
Jill Vieau

Anonymous said...

You have been able to verbalize so many of my feelings. Our son, Carlos, age 28, was killed by a drunk driver with a very high level of alcohol, marijuana and xanax. He killed him as our dear Carlitos was reaching the median that was full of runners preparing for a marathon, just as he was. We face a sentencing hearing August 26, 2010 in Miami. Please send us your wishes that this judge will also see the devastating circumstances this person has caused ending our son's life, as well as to his family, friends, co-workers, etc.
Sincerely,
Gelsys Cardenes

Deb Trowbridge said...

Thank you for posting. I am working on a victim impact statement. My name is Deb Trowbridge and my husband Gil was killed by a drunk driver on November 12, 2009. He was on his way to work.

Anonymous said...

Ninteen months ago, I was injured in a head on car accident that involved a drunk driver that was three times the legal limit. I go to court in a week for her sentening. My heart goes out to you and your family, and I thank you for posting your VIS, it has helped me...

Anonymous said...

Lindsay, I'm so sorry for what happened to you and your family. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose my sibling. I came across your VIS while looking for examples of how to write my own for my best friend. She was killed in an accident that included racing on December 21, 2007. She was horribly scared of cars, I used to get yelled at constantly for going 5 over with her next to me. She wasn't my biological sister, but we shared everything. I can't thank you enough for sharing, I had no idea how I was going to articulate what I have been through in the past three years, the trial final will be starting next month. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Anonymous said...

I want to say thank you for sharing your impact statement, as I too find myself in the same situation. My nephew Joshua was murdered 9/3/08...he was 20 years old.

kieran said...

your vis was also helpfull to me, my brother was killed in holland he was 33, life will never be the same again, and sorry about your loss. iam just starting to put my vis together, its just not possible to put a life into words, where does a man start ?

Sharyl said...

I am soooo sorry for your loss. I cant imagine. Nathan IS an inspiration to young people thanks to you keeping his memory alive. Your VIS has helped me organize my thoughts and feelings before mine is written. Although mine is a much different situation, a lot of the losses are the same. My children and I are much different people after I was strangled and left in a parking lot unconcious to die. I allowed my husband to control me for years and it took near-death for me to be absolutely DONE. We live in fear everyday. He was allowed to plea to felony strangulation versus facing trial for attempted murder. We are angry that the max sentence is 5 years. The daily issues are eerily reminiscent of yours. I am so thankful you decided to post your VIS online. Sentencing is November 10, 2010 and I feel more equipped and less afraid after reading this. GOD bless you and your family and Nathan's Angel has touched many lives.

Anonymous said...

I was searching for victim impact statements since I am in the process of writing one.

I am sorry for your loss, but just know that your brother is looking down on you and smiling.

I am 25 years old. I cant imagine being dead. Nor can I imagine being in prison for 15 years.

I also liked how you posted the pictures of the various tattoos. That alone in itself speaks volumes for the type of person your brother was. He left behind so many. This made me appreciate the smallest things in life.

I understand your fear of driving down that route.

This might all sound like rambling and not making much sense, but to summarize this up....I believe that the dead can hear when we speak. So when you speak about your brother he may not be physically here, but he can hear you!

Anonymous said...

Like so many others, I was searching for VIS on google and came across your page. It is obvious how many lives and hearts your brother touched, and continues to touch through your tribute to him. I appreciate your posting of your VIS. It is helpful for all of us in similar dreadful positions. God's peace to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My beautiful father, Luigi Stinellis, was 59 years old when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver on November 29, 2010. My father was working as a flagman in a construction site. Thank you for sharing Nathan's story. My family is destroyed, I feel as though I am in a nightmare and I just want to wake up. I never got a chance to say goodbye or tell him how much I love him. I just love him and miss him so so much. I am preparing my victim impact statement and I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

Thank you first of all for sharing this...i go to final sentencing in 3 days, for the drunk who killed our only child James, age 24. She was .221, and it was her 2nd offense. She got a polea bargain, of 18 months in prison, 6 months in halfway house. So, at least you got the satisfact5ion of some justice. We are enraged, the judge was corrupted by something. Our son was just on his way home on his motorcycle, with clean bloodtest, no drugs, no alcohol in his system. It disgusts me that his life was worth so little apparently. Truly disgusting. Thank you again.

Watson Family said...

To Nathan's Mom. I am truly sad for your loss. Nathan was, without a doubt, amazing and continutes to be the air in every breath you take. My daughter, Jenni-Lyn Watson would have turned 21 on February 24th, she was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Please continue to celebrate Nathan's life on his birthday, as we continue to celebrate Jesus's birthday, long after he lived. Thank you for sharing Nathan with us!

Anonymous said...

I am currently writing my VIS and I thank-you for making your statement public. It has helped me a lot with the preparation of mine.

Anonymous said...

Although my siutation is quite different to yours, your vis is inspiring and the moving comments are giving me strength to write my own. I was bashed on the street by three people while my boyfriend was forced to watch. The trial for one of them is this Thursday, writing the statement is bringing back terrible and painful memories, but its comforting to know that there are other people out there who are going through this as well.

I hope you and anyone who visits this website can find the strength to do justice to the wrongs against them.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! As I read your statement, I thought of my 6 year old son who lost his brother and best friend. I am envious of the wonderful memories you have of your brother, memories that my son will never have.
As I read your mother's statement, I felt a kinship. I too am a mother who lost her son and a teacher that has lost her way. You and your family are very brave.
I have to write one for my 14 month old son. My husband was going to pick up my other son at pre-school. My husband was rear-ended by a woman looking for her cell phone.
As you know, my husband, son, daughter (who will never know her older brother), and I will never be the same. We are all broken.

Angel said...

I am so sorry for your loss... And you have me in complete tears. I myself am a victim. My former husband whom I had known 15 years prior to our marriage of 2 months strangled me. Luckily my 3 angels weren't home and thank u lord i survived. I'm supposed to write my vis for court in 2 days. Wondering if I should ask my oldest daughter age 10 if she wants to write too. I never imagined how much this would effect me. I've never felt so weak in my life. I'm mad, hurt, confused, scared. And I'm pregnant. The ASSHURTS plea bargained for a year. But since he had been in custody for so long now they will give him good behavior and he will be released shortly I mean. A couple months. I am scared he will kill me as he promised he would do so many nights. I just want to say thank you for posting your vis and I'm so sorry for ur loss---- an angel

Teresa said...

Hi Lindsay,
Thank you so much for having the courage and strength to put your VIS on here. You have helped in so many ways as i was lost in to how to write a VIS. i have also lost my brother through careless and negligent actions of another driver. the pain, anguish etc felt is just so heartwrenching that you dont ever want anyone to feel this way. My brother was killed 5 months ago and the court case should be in a couple of months. Thank you once again for your help and I wish you and your family all the best and that you find peace knowing that you have not only helped all of us but also helped your brother Nathan. You are an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I am struggling with trying to write a victim impact statement for my 5 year old daughter, who was molested by a family member. I applaud your strength and hope your family has found some peace.

Anonymous said...

I am so deeply touched by your story and VIS. What you are enduring is unimaginable and heartbreaking, but your inner strength is inspiring. Nathan's legacy lives on through you. Hold him close to your heart always.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Your VIS was well written and I know that you and your family will forever cherish your brother's memory!

Your blog to your brother is wonderful!

May God continue to bless you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for bearing your soul and sharing this very personal reflection. I am trying to write a VIS for my husband, who was rear ended and killed by a semi driver that tested positive for meth......We would have celebrated our 30th anniversary this year....Renee

Anonymous said...

Thank You for this SIte It helped me get my thoughts together for the Trial for the murder and Robbery of Daddy.

Anonymous said...

Headed from PA to SC to go to the sentencing of the drunk driver (2nd offense in 5 months) that tradgically killed my BFF's husband Bob on June 3, 2010. He was on his way home after running a work related errand after the High School Graduation of their triplet daughters. God bless your family for what they have been through and will go through every single day. May you always have the strength to make a difference. You have given me so much inspiration to take to her as she struggles to write her statement. We need something positive to come out of this horrible nightmare so Bob's death will have true meaning as we pray no one else ever experiences the same.

Hot Springs, AR said...

My fiancee was murdered on 8/7/11. The person responsible was arrested on Friday, and if they go to trial, I will be making a VIS. Thank you so much for this site, and sharing something so personal in order to help others.

Miles for Matt Foundation.....The Journey Continues said...

Thank you so mch for doing this. My son was just 19 when a 44 year old, drunk and speeding on a Harley, left the parkway and struck and murdered my son who was on bike path, which runs parallel to that Parkway. Thank you, Robert Moses. It is painful to know that four years ago, you were facing such a painful journey. By the look of the posts, that continues for many more of us.

Miles for Matt Foundation.....The Journey Continues said...

We are crushed by the weight of having to explain what a wonderful person was taken from us. My son was murdered on July 20, 2009. I will never understand why the drunks survive. The punishment will never fit the crime.

My heart goes out to you and your family. There is a cure for this - it is as simple as don't drink and drive. I have no idea why that is so challenging. These are lawbreakers and lifetakers.

Anonymous said...

My eldest son was murdered last year Sept 4 2010, he was 3days shy of his 21st bday when he was cruely shot by gang members. My son graciously accompanied his friend to a party. You have a very beautiful and close knit family like ours and reading you Moms vis relates every ordeal i have to go through. Thank you for posting and sharing for it will help me for my vis next week. God Bless you and may God's peace and comfort be upon you always.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your tragic loss. Nathen must have been a truly wonderful young man. I have to thank you for posting your VIS. I lost my partner in the same circumstances a year ago and have to attend his trial in a few weeks. I wrote my statement some time ago however reading yours as helped me as it's the 1st time I have been able to relate to someone elses feelings. I have lost my confidence and self identity and cannot re-visit the place he was taken. I'm so scared for court and did not know if my statement was what the courts were looking for. No words can truly express the way in which my heart and life have been destroyed, however I wrote it from the heart and pray that it has some impact on the sentencing (in the UK, sentences are extremely lenient).
Thankyou for sharing Nathens story.
God Bless you and your family.

lazyamz said...

It is amazing the legacy your brother has left behind. I also stumbled across your site in search for help writing a victim impact statement. I live in Australia, so the laws are very different (can you believe I am not allowed to speak ill of the coward who killed my sister, not allowed to mention the sentencing, only allowed to talk about the direct impact her death has had on myself?). I had not intended on writing one, because I felt that I could not put into words how I felt. How do you explain the impact of the death of a sibling in under 20 pages?

This post has given me the strength to try, it has encouraged me to write something, even if it barely scratches the surface. My heart goes out to your family. The pain never goes away, but I hope you realise that you and your brother continue to help strangers, even on the other side of the earth and even years after his passing.

Thank you for your help.

Anonymous said...

I have been feeling lost trying to prepare my VIS, lookin online for examples was not of much help into I ran into this. Thank you so much for sharing this it has given me not only helpful guidance to begin mine but strength as well. Im sorry for you loss.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. It is tremendously helpful. I'm so sorry for your loss. My 19 year old daughter, who was married for only 5 months, is now a widow due to a drunk driver.

Anonymous said...

Wow, your VIS brought me to tears. I am so truly sorry for your loss and I noticed in your statement that your brother's 30th birthday is only days away. I hope that your able to celebrate his life and the happy times you had together. Thank you so much for opening up about such a private issue. I too just turned 30 and having been struggling for weeks to write my own VIS directed at a stranger who brutally attacked me and left me for dead. I know that we are dealing with different tragedies, but I just wanted to let you know how moved I was by your story and your powerful words!

Anonymous said...

I want to say first that I'm sorry for your loss! Then I want to say thank you! My brother (George Gibbons) was killed in a car accident on October 15, 2011 in Maspeth New York. He was in the back of a taxi on his way home from work at about 6am when a car traveling the wrong way on a one way street hit the taxi head on. George was declared DOA upon arrival of the ambulance. The person driving the car the wrong way fled the scene! After rigorous efforts from my family, friends and pretty much our entire community the POS was caught a month exactly after the accident in Connecticut. I will be speaking at his sentencing on Monday. Thank you for giving me more ideas of what to say!!! Eamon Gibbons

Rhonda said...

I find myself here searching for examples of VIS so I can try to begin to write one myself. My sister in law was murdered Dec. 30 2010 and Monday I will for the first time lay eyes on the man who stole her from us. Thank you for sharing yours. Ironicaly as I sat down to search for this.. I thought I might need a beer. So, as I watch the kids play in the pool.. enjoying the Texas Sunshine.. thankfully obilvious to what their mother is seraching for.. I drink this COORS LIGHT :-) for Nathan Marti.

Rhonda said...

I find myself here searching for examples of VIS so I can try to begin to write one myself. My sister in law was murdered Dec. 30 2010 and Monday I will for the first time lay eyes on the man who stole her from us. Thank you for sharing yours. Ironicaly as I sat down to search for this.. I thought I might need a beer. So, as I watch the kids play in the pool.. enjoying the Texas Sunshine.. thankfully obilvious to what their mother is seraching for.. I drink this COORS LIGHT :-) for Nathan Marti.

Anonymous said...

I too, was online looking for sample VIS as I have an opportunity to present VIS on June 12. I have until 8th June to finish it n submit to VIServices,so that the Crown, Judge, and Defense have a chance to look at it. That is why I was, and maybe still am hesitant to read/submit a VIS in the case of my best friend (S) that was killed March 11, 2011 (age of 50) by a Drunk Driver here in Canada.It's been all about his 'rights'from the start of this whole procedure. On Wednesday the Judge allowed the accused to go home n 'get his affairs in order'. Did S. have an opportunity to get her affairs in order before he killed her that night? NO!! He has not spent anytime in jail since the night of the crash. And has only appeared in the court room x2 (Mon./Tues of this week), and his first appearance. Laws are different here in Canada. He was charged with Impaired driving causing death. Minimum sentence will be 3 yrs, that much we (myself/her sons)know. He hit her car (T-boned it) so hard that it drove the passenger seat in the front, into the space where the driver seat was, ejecting the driver seat with my friend seat belted in, outside the car n 14 meters down the road. Where EMT's had to cut the belt off her. When will this senselessness loss of life every stop?????? And it being 100% preventable.The justice/legal systems need to open their eyes, and not be afraid of setting new precedents, with longer sentences to be handed out to these killers.
This was more then what I was going to write, and it may not make a lot of sense to anybody reading it, but thank you for your blog, and I too, am sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to say I'm sorry for your lost, an how bless you are, God give you a wonderful Brother!! He's mission was to help people, an he keep's on helping! I lost 3 kid's in same year, my wonderful. 6 year old Dauther, a baby boy, an I like to say my litte Angel, I have to write Vis, I have grief for 13 Year's, Thank's to a careless driver!! Just Remember God is with you, and your family, keep the wonderful memories alive, try to let go, an forgive, is very hard!! I know it!! But that is the only way you are goin to be able to muve on!! I hope the best for your Family, the pain never go's away!! But you learn to leave with it!! Thank you

Anonymous said...

June 12, 2012 I read my VIS out loud in court today. Even though it wasn't the completed version, as I had 3 1/4 pages, told by Victim Services Co-ordinator it could only be 2pages, so had to shorten it!! which left bitter taste in my mouth, in addition to all the 'rights'that he (impaired driver) has had since that night.It's been 17 months n 4 days since my best friend Sheila was killed, he pled not guilty to 3 charges, only charge left that he was found guilty on was Impaired driving causing death (Here in Canada), sentence:3 yrs, n after release 3 yrs of prohibited driving. Day parole eligible 1/6 of his time, full parole 1/3 of his time. What got me is how is a loved one who's been left behind, only has 2 pages to put in enough words, feelings, etc., to get your you loss across to the Judge, Crown n Defense Lawyer n Criminal (who by the way got to see the VIS all before they were read out in court)!! Thanx for listening/reading.

Anonymous said...

Thank you somuch for your website. my neighbor's son was killed a year ago in a drunken driving accident. Today was the sentencing hearing. Thanks to your inspiring words, my victim impact statement was instrumental in the driver receiving jail time and probation upon release instead of mere probation. (Plea bargain against the victim's family's wishes) Thank you so much for turning your tragedy into something so good.

rebeccakolano said...

Thank you so much for writing your victim statement & posting it on line, My brother was murdered March 12th 2009 in North Versailles, PA while he was out enjoying chicken wings & listening to county music, he bumped into a biker who was extremely intoxicated, & went crazy for him bumping into him, well short story as he walked to his truck weapon free he was shot & killed by 15-20 pagan bikers, 1 was arrested & his hearing starts monday july 9th 2012 & i was giving a lot of thought about a victim statement because we think he is going to take a plea...again thanks so much for posting this on line it was very very help-ful. Bless you & your family & my deepest smpathy to you & your whole family...rebecca kolano

Anonymous said...

Another thank-you, and sincere condolences for your loss. I like many others found your web-site while trying to figure out how to write my VIS. My brother -in -law was killed in the line of duty Aug. 26, 2010. Your VIS has helped my organize and put into words some of the emotion I want to convey to the Judge. I know the words I write will be inadequate, but thanks to you I now feel that I know what I need to say. I feel that Nathan would be proud of you for your service to others. God bless you and yours. I

Anonymous said...

I received a call last week. it was the U.S. Attorney letting us know that on 1/22/2013 we would need to do a vic impact statement in Wyoming. in April 2012 my sweet grandson was accidentally shot and killed by his 8 year old playmate with a 25 automatic handgun he found in the field they were playing in. the gun had been hidden there by a man who had used it in a previous crime, they found his prints on the gun and charged him with felon in possion of a firearm. our grandson was the light of our lives, thank you for your post, it may help me address this horrible person

Anonymous said...

Hello there... How to even start a VIS? What a horrible situation we all have had to share. I too lost my 25 year old brother to a drunk driver. We were 3 and now only two sisters remain. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for having the courage to share your VIS with us.

Anonymous said...

I can't express in words how thankful I am you have posted Nathan's and your family's story and VIS.
I am about to go to trial that will finally call the man who raped me when I was 16yr old, to account for what he did.
Thank you for your courage and the courage of all of stand up to make their voices heard for crimes against themselves and their loved ones.

I hope I can do the same once the trial is over and 'pay it forward' so others know they aren't alone and have some guidance in getting through the process and writing a VIS..
Bless

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your Blog... I too was looking for a sample VIS. My cousin, my friend and my boss, all one in the same was murdered in his home on June 29th, 2012. I struggle everyday with this realization and now must try to put into words how I feel, what this incomprehensible crime has done, the impact it has had and continues to have on my life. I thank you for giving me direction and hope and pray that you and your family have found peace.

Anonymous said...

Like others here, I was brought to this site because of a sentencing for my brother who abused me. I think the main message I got from you and everyone else is speak your pain. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt words on behalf of your family.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I, like many others who have commented on your site, have been trying to find a way to write an impact statement. It is a very generous deed to post your VIS to help others who are struggling through this. I am so sorry for your loss.