Is there a role for restorative justice in challenging sexual and domestic violence?
This is the question my colleague Nicole Westmarland and I ask in our research and policy work. We began this research due to the systematic failings of the conventional criminal justice system, the evident ‘justice gap’ for survivors and questions about survivors’ own perspectives of what might constitute justice. Restorative justice offers one possibility for securing a sense of justice, in the right circumstances and for some survivors.
Our work covers the use and possibilities of restorative justice in cases of sexual violence. We have published academic research on this subject, as well as a research briefing. We have spoken at many conferences and workshops to share our research and ideas of how to respond to the interests of victim-survivors, most recently in Scotland to a large audience of those working with survivors, restorative justice practitioners, lawyers and policy-makers. This event – Responding to Sexual Violence: is there a role for restorative justice? – highlighted common ground around the failings of the conventional criminal justice system and started discussions about reform.
This work also considers the potential role – if any – of restorative justice in cases of domestic abuse. In particular, we have also examined the use by police of ‘out of court resolutions’ – including restorative justice and community resolutions – in cases of domestic abuse. More information available in the research briefing here and at the link below: