Some crime victims or their families find it helpful to speak about how their lives have been affected by crime to criminal justice professionals or offenders:
- Victim speakers are often incorporated into staff training. Hearing about the impact of crime on victims and their families provides an invaluable learning opportunity and can assist staff in their work with victims and offenders.
- Victim Impact Programs for offenders are structured classes that are run by DOC staff and trained volunteers. Victim speakers are an extremely important part of these programs. Adult facilities, juvenile facilities, and certain probation and parole units conduct victim impact programs that incorporate victim speakers.
Victims are not required to use their real names when speaking to a group.
Speakers may be offered a stipend to offset expenses incurred by speaking, such as mileage to and from the speaking site.
The offender who perpetrated against you or your family will not be present.
Victim speakers may indicate their preferred audience: staff, offenders, or juveniles.
Speaking to groups about the impact of a crime is an individual decision. Some victims have found this to be a positive experience.
Some prospective speakers have found it helpful to observe another victim speaker before deciding whether or not to pursue their own speaking opportunity.