Abuse forum must have 'emphasis on restorative justice' say MSPs
from the article on STV News:
A plan to offer child abuse victims a forum to relive their experiences must be accompanied by an emphasis on achieving justice for survivors, a committee of MSPs has concluded.
The Scottish Government wants to establish a National Confidential Forum (NCF) to "provide an opportunity for adults who were placed in institutional care as children to recount their experiences in a confidential, non-judgemental and supportive setting".
Building on the One Fund: Victim centered restorative justice for survivors of violent crime
In an outpouring of support, millions of dollars have been raised to help support victims of the Boston marathon attacks and their families.
To date, more than 32 million dollars have been raised from individuals, foundations, and corporations by The One Fund....
Victim centered restorative justice - such as that provided by the One Fund - seeks to provide maximal support and rehabilitation to victims of crime.
Empowered Victims & Moral Perpetrators: A Needs-Based Model of Reconciliation
At a recent workshop at Leiden University on Obstacles and Catalysts for Peaceful Behavior, Nurit Shnabel presented exciting research distinguishing the needs of victims and perpetrators in interpersonal and intergroup conflicts. According to Shnabel and colleagues’ Needs-Based Model of Reconciliation, victims of conflict experience a psychological loss of status and honor, thus undermining their identities as powerful actors. Perpetrators, on the other hand, experience a psychological loss of social acceptance, thus threatening their identities as moral actors. Accordingly, victims and perpetrators are differentially motivated to restore these respective identities, and interactions that do so will increase their willingness to reconcile....
Restorative justice: Re-storying what happened in Boston
....We have seen some coverage of restorative practices as an alternative model to responding to conflict, particularly in the criminal justice system and with students who misbehave. In essence, the restorative process invites us to sit in circle, and, as a community affected by crime, determine how to best meet the needs of those involved. Restorative justice rejects one-size-fits-all models and prefers creative processes to conflict resolution.
For restorative justice, the devil is in the details
....The ordinance makes provision for existing agencies or non-profits to run the restorative justice component on a case-by-case referral basis, with instructions that the contracted program “may seek to involve the victim as well as the offender” in the restorative justice process. In addition the contracted program both makes the decision as to what will it take to bring restoration as well as to ultimately sign off on whether or not restoration was done.
Since that is one of the basic tenets or restorative justice—to bring victim and offender together to restore the whole—it would seem that the programs would almost always bring in the victims, as well as let the victims take the lead in deciding the restorative action.
The sorry state of the apology: Scriptural responses to society's shallow regret
Though the word apology, as we know it, does not exist in the New Testament, an absence of the specific word does not indicate an absence of the concept. Scripture provides lessons for how to do this well and demonstrates that there is more to making an apology than what a press conference can provide....
1. The responsibility is on the offender to initiate the apology....
Seeking justice, from victims’ perspectives
Her son was shot dead in a parking lot in Santa Maria. Another woman’s son was hit straight-on by a distracted driver and killed while riding his bike. An adult victim of physical beatings as a child shared how he reacted by living violently, and ultimately spent 38 years of his life in prison.
Those were some of the people who came to share their stories with 10 young people at a restorative justice program, “Help Increase the Peace; Victim Impact Panel Project,” or HIP/VIP. The young people were there because they had been involved in incidents and offenses where law enforcement was called. Empathy and accountability are the objectives the Conflict Solutions Center’s staff is offering via restorative justice.
What if we gave victims of serious crimes the opportunity to face the offenders?
There has been much speculation about the factors that might lead someone to commit the kind of crime that was perpetrated against Mikey Partida. While some of it may be premature it is a normal human response to try to make sense of something that is so senseless.
….Lisa Rea, founder of Restorative Justice International, who has worked in restorative justice since 1992 believes that victims of crime do not want some vague sense of "closure" but rather they want to regain a sense of safety, security and healing. She argues in a 2012 article that for many victims the healing process would be facilitated by an opportunity to face the offender, ask him/her questions, describe the harm that was done, and seek a way for the harms done to them to be made right. She notes: "...(T)hroughout my work the number of victims who are seeking to participate in some kind of restorative justice dialogue is increasing."
Three tales of forgiveness
Forgiveness is a hard road to travel for the victim of a crime, but coming face to face with the offender in a restorative justice process can be beneficial for both, according to Kim Workman, director of Rethinking Crime and Punishment.
''The court process often passes victims by because they are still so traumatised by the offence. They don't understand what has gone on and they feel blocked by anger and fear, often for years. At some point, a victim may feel they want to tell the offender what they think of them, how much damage they have done. They may also want to try to understand what motivated the offender. They may want to try to make sense of it all.''
As leaders, how do we forgive?
….Forgiveness at its deepest level is from God and it is a gift. As I understand forgiveness, it is, in part, a process or journey by which we open ourselves to the reality of another, thus, undergo a profound change toward them and ourselves. Forgiveness is a movement on the journey toward reconciliation.
In some instances, forgiveness simply happens by the grace of God through our encounter with another’s vulnerability and humanity. Sometimes, forgiveness simply breaks in on us apart from our choosing.