Source: (2012) Contemporary Justice Review. 15(1):17-37.

Even if there has been some theoretical debate on the role of what has been called the ‘community of care’ in restorative justice (RJ) there has not been much research on, or analysis of, the implications of the role of significant others in its practice. This lack of reflection is especially evident in the case of the victims’ community of care, despite findings that would indicate a systematic lack of participation of victim’s supporters in restorative practices. Through the qualitative analysis of 35 interviews with victims of crime who consented to attend mediation (direct and indirect), an attempt to describe and discuss the characteristics of victim’s communities of care that may become relevant for the practice of RJ is made. Results indicate that, despite a victims’ need for company or support, victims tend to disclose few details about the offense, its consequences and the mediation offered as a way to protect their loved ones or to avoid possible negative reactions from their communities. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are offered. (author's abstract)