Source: (2006) In, Dennis Sullivan and Larry Tifft editors, "Handbook of Restorative Justice" A Global Perspective. London and New York: Routledge. Taylor & Francis Group pp.299-307

This essay hopes to show that, in carefully managed contexts, the restorative paradigm could be extended beyond the traditional and generally accepted domain of less serious forms of offending. In effect, contrary to the major arguments put forward by the critics, it is contended that restorative justice may represent a wider and more holistic response to child sexual abuse. In the main, it will be argued that unlike traditional retributive measures which make up the current criminal justice response to sexual offences, the theory and practice of restorative justice may offer a more meaningful, progressive and ultimately more effective response to the problem. It will further argue that those affected by child sexual abuse could gain significant benefits from the widespread adoption of such an approach. To put these arguments in perspective, it is necessary to begin by providing an outline of the broad principles of restorative justice as well as some examples of restorative practice with sex offenders. (excerpt)