Becoming a victim of crime is often a traumatic experience. Many victims feel that their life has been turned upside down, and what was once normal and familiar no longer feels safe. Whilst the criminal justice process deals with the offence, it can sometimes leave those harmed feeling out of control and in need of answers that simply cannot be provided during the formal process.
Restorative Justice can change this.
What is Restorative Justice?
Restorative Justice (RJ) is a victim focused approach that empowers victims and communities by giving them the opportunity to:
- communicate with the person/s responsible for the offence
- explain how the crime has affected them
- ask questions
It is about holding offenders to account for what they have done, by helping them to understand the real impact of their behaviour directly from those harmed by their actions.
It is also an opportunity for the offender to take responsibility for what they have done, acknowledge the harm caused and where possible make amends.
Watch the video below for an introduction to Restorative Justice:
Any victim of crime or anti-social behaviour can access Restorative Justice services, regardless of when the offence was committed. Each case will be assessed on an individual basis before being taken forward.
Restorative Justice is voluntary for all parties. As the victim, Restorative Justice is about having your voice heard, giving you the opportunity to express how you have been affected by the crime and to have any questions answered.
I want to find out more
If you would like to find out about other people’s experiences with Restorative Justice before deciding what to do, here are some case studies: