Relations of Domination and Subordination: Challenges for Restorative Justice in Responding to Domestic Violence
20 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010
Date Written: July 19, 2010
Restorative Justice (RJ) is often promoted as a response to the failings and limitations of conventional criminal justice. Within conventional criminal justice the parties are seen to have competing and probably irreconcilable differences, and criminal justice processes offer obstacles to effective communication. The open, discursive character of restorative justice offers new opportunities for dialogue between the parties and the potential for reparation. Story telling is said to be central to RJ, but also carries risks. Whose stories will prevail? What are the consequences of the ‘wrong story’ or a story that is not well received? Non-domination is said to be a core value of RJ, but if we acknowledge that asymmetrical social relations position people differently, what are the implications for restorative encounters? In this paper I examine these issues through the lens of gendered violence with particular reference to domestic violence and sexual assault as a means of displacing the approach common in much Restorative Justice literature of working with an undifferentiated concept of victim (and offender).
Keywords: restorative justice, violence against women, domestic violence, sexual assault, communication, victims of crime
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation