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Victim Participation in Restorative Processes

Articles on the impact on victims of their participation in restorative justice meetings.

Dealing with rape face to face
from the article by Ruth Krug and Battle Creek Enquirer: More than a dozen women have now stepped forward alleging rape by iconic funnyman Bill Cosby, but few are likely to achieve some element of justice. That's because they are clinging to the hopes that the criminal justice system will do what its name seems to imply: restore some sense of balance, or justice, after a crime has been committed.
Victims of sexual crime may confront their attacker
from the article by Deaerbhail McDonald in Independent: Victims of sexual crime who want to confront their perpetrators should be supported by the State in doing so, according to a new study on sexual abuse and restorative justice. Restorative justice, which deals with victims and offenders by focusing on the harm arising from crime and resolving the underlying problems which caused it, has previously been ruled out for cases of sexual assault.
Crime victims meet offenders in new restorative justice programme
from the article by Rachel Millard in The Argus: A mother said it “felt good” to look a burglar in the eye and explain the damage he caused her family. Tracey Clift sat down with the thief who took irreplaceable items including the medal her grandfather had won in the First World War and a charm bracelet from her father. She went to meet him in Lewes Prison, where the burglar is serving time for other crimes, almost five years after he broke into her Worthing home via the kitchen window and stole “most of our family history” from the safe.
Restorative Justice Conference between R and Mr Q
from the case report by Mark Creitzman: It was at this point, that Mr Q mentioned that he felt that he would like to be able to forgive R by the end of the meeting and that he had a challenge for R to consider. Mr Q asked R if he was up to a challenge and he nodded ‘Yes’. Mr Q said that if R could prove that he wanted to change the path of his life and made progress in Cookham Wood, that on his exit from the YOI, Mr Q would mentor him and support him through his transition. Mr Q told us that his long-term plan could involve R and himself using the negativity of the offence and turning it in to a ‘power for good’ and delivering sessions to schools, YOIs, colleges or universities.
Restorative Justice Conference between R and Mr Q
Held at Cookham Wood YOI in Rochester on the 15th October 2014 at 11am. From the case report by Mark Creitzman.
Actions and consequences: How restorative justice can help victims move on
from the article by Javed Khan: If you were a victim of crime, would you want to meet the offender? What would you say to them? A burglary victim might, for example, want to talk about the inconvenience, the hassle of sorting out the mess and replacing what has been stolen. They could spell out that some things - just objects to an outsider - are completely irreplaceable, and how sentimental value outweighs any financial cost. But we all know that actions have unintended consequences, and burglary isn't just about what's been taken, it's about what's been left behind too.
Actions and consequences: How restorative justice can help victims move on
from the article by Javed Khan: If you were a victim of crime, would you want to meet the offender? What would you say to them? A burglary victim might, for example, want to talk about the inconvenience, the hassle of sorting out the mess and replacing what has been stolen. They could spell out that some things - just objects to an outsider - are completely irreplaceable, and how sentimental value outweighs any financial cost. But we all know that actions have unintended consequences, and burglary isn't just about what's been taken, it's about what's been left behind too.
john ngabo on Lisa Rea: Restorative Justice: Restoring Victims and Communities.
The healing,and the transformation of both the victim and the offender from fear,vulnerability, and from shame and guilty is through restorative dialogue,apology and reparation from [...]
Empowered Victims & Moral Perpetrators: A Needs-Based Model of Reconciliation
from the entry by Christine Webb on Mediate.com: At a recent workshop at Leiden University on Obstacles and Catalysts for Peaceful Behavior, Nurit Shnabel presented exciting research distinguishing the needs of victims and perpetrators in interpersonal and intergroup conflicts. According to Shnabel and colleagues’ Needs-Based Model of Reconciliation, victims of conflict experience a psychological loss of status and honor, thus undermining their identities as powerful actors. Perpetrators, on the other hand, experience a psychological loss of social acceptance, thus threatening their identities as moral actors. Accordingly, victims and perpetrators are differentially motivated to restore these respective identities, and interactions that do so will increase their willingness to reconcile....
What if we gave victims of serious crimes the opportunity to face the offenders?
from the article by Robb Davis in the People's Vanguard of Davis: There has been much speculation about the factors that might lead someone to commit the kind of crime that was perpetrated against Mikey Partida. While some of it may be premature it is a normal human response to try to make sense of something that is so senseless. ….Lisa Rea, founder of Restorative Justice International, who has worked in restorative justice since 1992 believes that victims of crime do not want some vague sense of "closure" but rather they want to regain a sense of safety, security and healing. She argues in a 2012 article[1] that for many victims the healing process would be facilitated by an opportunity to face the offender, ask him/her questions, describe the harm that was done, and seek a way for the harms done to them to be made right. She notes: "...(T)hroughout my work the number of victims who are seeking to participate in some kind of restorative justice dialogue is increasing."
Power of One: Restorative justice couples victims with offenders
from the article on CTV.ca: ....A woman named Marité has been taking part in the process, not by facing her sexually-abusive father, but rather, another man who committed similar acts. She said that results have helped her cope with the damage she suffered. "For him it was like I was his daughter," said Marité. "And I was able also to express my anger to him and that's what he wanted rather than silence from his daughter." "I can now go forward because I'm not bound to my father anymore. I can leave him go."
New Staffordshire crime-fighting partnership praised by Justice Secretary
from the article by Sonya Britton iin This Is Staffordshire On a visit to Staffordshire's new integrated crime-fighting hub, Justice Secretary Lord McNally met former offenders, victims of crime, and staff from police, probation and drug treatment agencies. And Lord McNally was impressed at the joint working shown by the 180° Integrated Offender Management partnership, which aims to help tackle the most challenging and prolific offenders in Staffordshire in an integrated way.
Select committee urged to avoid courtroom 'Oprahfication'
from the article on Voxy.co.nz: Rethinking Crime and Punishment agrees that victims should be able to provide information to the court about the effects of offending; and the harm they have suffered. However, it does not believe that the presentation of a victim impact statement in the Court, was the best way to achieve it.
Letting victims define justice
from the article by Steve Sullivan for Restorative Justice Week 2011: ....There is a growing myth that for victims, justice requires tougher penalties. If only it was that simple. There is no evidence that punishment is as important to the majority of victims as some would have us believe. When asked in one study why they reported the crime, sexual assault victims listed punishment of the offender very low on their list of priorities.
The offer of restorative justice to victims of violent crime: Should it be protective or proactive?
from the study by Jo_Anne Wemmers and Tinneke Van Camp: The victims in our sample suggest generalizing the offer of restorative justice to all victims. Themselves victims of very serious crimes, they experienced the beneficial impact of participation in a restorative intervention. However, while they believe that all victims should be informed about restorative opportunities, they emphasize that victims have to feel ready to participate in such programs.
Bill Pelke's journey after violent crime
Bill, thank you so much for your words. For many who read them I am sure they are like balm to the soul. Over at [...]
Listening to crime victims:
Lisa, Thank you for your work on the 3rd Annual Restorative Justice Conference panel "Listening to Crime Victims: Their Journeys Toward Healing" that was sponsored [...]
Restorative Justice
Thanks for the great talk. Any info I could use in the juvenile justice class I teach to college students in criminal justice? Do you [...]
NPR: Victims confront offenders, face to face
from Laura Sullivan's interview with Sujatha Baliga on Talk of the Nation: BALIGA: Yes. And I said there's no chance. You know, this is not a case for restorative justice. The system is not amenable, particularly in your state. And I can't tell too many details, because we're still finishing things up with that case right now. It's not quite a done deal yet. But we're close. And the mother of this young man was so persistent and told me that she had actually been meeting with the girl's parents. She and her husband were meeting with the girl's parents, and that the girl's parents actually were the one interested in restorative justice. And she said, Can I give them your information? I said I'd be happy to talk to them and tell you the same thing I'm telling you, which is that this is not happening. (SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
healing & restorative justice for victims
Jennifer, I appreciate your comments. For those reading this blog you might remember that I have written a blog article or two on Jennifer Bishop [...]

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