Source: (2001) Paper presented at the Restorative and Community Justice: Inspiring the Future conference, held in Winchester, England, 28-31 March.

While many have accepted the validity of restorative justice processes for certain offenses, the use of such processes for sexual crimes and domestic violence has been intensely controversial. Martin Wright’s purpose in this paper is to test the principles of restorative justice by applying them to cases of rape, including serious cases, chiefly where the victim and offender are acquainted with each other. The question is whether, given the failings of the conventional criminal justice system with respect to victims of rape, restorative justice should be considered not as a supplement but as an alternative to the system? With all of this in mind, Wright explores the needs and rights of victims of rape, the effects of punishment, the potential of restorative justice with respect to women (victims) and men (offenders) in such cases, and risks and challenges for restorative processes in cases of rape.