Source: (2013) Restorative Justice. 1(2):190-214.

The phenomenon of victim participation in restorative justice (RJ) has been studied from two main angles: describing victims' motivations to take part in RJ, and studying the benefits that different groups of victims may obtain when participating in RJ. However, the methodological limitations of previous studies have prevented conclusive answers being given to the question 'for whom is RJ?'. This article offers insights into these issues, focusing on the descriptive findings of a mixed-method study carried out in the context of victim-offender mediation (in Spain and Belgium) and assessed before the encounter (if any) took place. Results suggest that, before mediation, victims' personal characteristics tend to differ. The factor 'victim-offender relationship' also appeared as an important variable. Implications of these findings are discussed. (author's abstract)