Seeking Justice for Survivors of Sexual Violence: Recognition, Voice and Consequences
Forthcoming, Keenan and Zinsstag (eds) Sexual Violence and Restorative Justice: legal, social and therapeutic dimensions (Routledge)
11 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2016
Date Written: November 22, 2014
In recent years, a small number of studies have investigated the use and impact of restorative justice in cases of sexual violence. While initial findings are broadly positive, the studies are constrained by small sample sizes. This chapter contributes to this emerging body of evidence by sharing the preliminary findings of a study investigating the justice perspectives of a group of sexual violence survivors. This study does not provide a specific analysis of the experiences of those who have engaged in restorative approaches. Rather, it 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.
Keywords: restorative justice; kaleidoscopic justice; sexual violence
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