Personal Story From a Female Victim

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Restorative Justice (RJ) is a powerful intervention that aims to facilitate a meeting between a victim and the person who committed a crime against them.

Restorative Justice (RJ) involves victims and offenders (and supporters) meeting with a trained facilitator to talk about what happened, who was affected by the crime and what can be done to make things better.

Meeting the offender, in person, telling them the real impact of their crime, getting an apology and some answers, can really help victims move on. It’s also an opportunity for the offender to put right the harm they have caused and take responsibility for their actions – which in turn can reduce the risk of re offending.

Samantha* was attacked and beaten by a handbag thief in 2012. She later became pregnant after the medication she was taking for her injuries counter-acted her contraceptive pill. She later miscarried.

"My head was in a very bad place for the first 12 months, took a while to build myself back up. The offender had previously written me a letter which contained a lot of excuses about his difficult childhood and abusive father. I had a difficult childhood myself, so that sort of excuse doesn’t wash with me, I just found it really self indulgent and not at all genuine."

“I set two conditions for the RJ conference: first, that I didn’t want a support person; and secondly that he had to have one – so he couldn’t be able to worm his way out with excuses."

“It felt really good to be able to tell him how the attack had affected me. It had a really positive outcome. It’s in the past now.”

RJ can help build confidence in the Criminal Justice System and research shows that offenders believe RJ can help them stop offending.

*Names have been changed to protect identity.

Source: MTCnovo