by Clare McGlynn, Nicole Westmarland and Julia Downes
This chapter examines the insights of sexual violence survivors on their understandings of ‘justice’, particularly the concepts of recognition, voice and consequences. In considering the extent to which restorative justice may or may not meet these justice interests, we suggest that some restorative approaches may provide an opportunity to satisfy some elements of the survivors’ understandings of justice. Nonetheless, survivors’ concepts of justice extend well beyond both the conventional criminal justice system and restorative approaches, such that a far broader, kaleidoscopic, understanding of justice needs to be considered.
Under the Radar: The Widespread use of ‘Out of Court Resolutions’ in Policing Domestic Violence and Abuse in the United Kingdom (2017) British Journal of Criminology by Nicole Westmarland, Kelly Johnson and Clare McGlynn
The suitability of ‘out of court resolutions’ (restorative justice and community resolutions) in cases of domestic abuse is theoretically contentious and empirically under-researched. This study investigated the nature and extent of out of court resolutions for domestic abuse using the Freedom of Information Act. Out of court resolutions were used by every UK police force except Scotland to respond to over 5,000 domestic abuse incidents (including intimate partner abuse) in 2014. Some of these incidents related to offences with sentencing tariffs up to life imprisonment. Such widespread use has been taking place ‘under the radar’ in stark contrast to police guidance, has immediate implications for policy and practice, and fundamentally shifts the research terrain in this field.
“I just wanted him to hear me”: sexual violence and the possibilities of restorative justice (2012) Journal of Law and Society 39(2): 213-240.
In this article, we investigated the experiences of ‘Lucy’, a survivor of childhood rape and other forms of sexual abuse, who undertook a restorative justice conference. The results of this case study, while necessarily tentative, provide good ground to consider afresh the possibilities of restorative justice in cases of sexual violence. We suggest that for those victim-survivors who wish to pursue this option, restorative justice may offer the potential to secure some measure of justice.
(2011) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 31(4): 825-842.
by Clare McGlynn
Justice for rape victims has become synonymous with punitive state punishment. Taking rape seriously is equated with increasing convictions and prison sentences and consequently most feminist activism has been focused on reforming the conventional criminal justice system to secure these aims. While important reforms have been made, justice continues to elude many victims. Many feel re-victimized by a system which marginalizes their interests and denies them a voice. Restorative justice offers the potential to secure justice for rape victims, but feminist resistance has resulted in few programmes tackling such crimes. In After the Crime, Susan Miller evidences the positive outcomes of a restorative justice programme tackling serious offences including rape and recommends their development. However, her vision is ultimately limited by her recommendation of only post-conviction restorative processes and the implicit endorsement of the conventional criminal justice system. I argue that feminist strategy and activism must rethink its approach to what constitutes justice for rape victims, going beyond punitive state outcomes to encompass broader notions of justice, including an expansive approach to restorative justice.