Source: (2012) Journal of Law and Society. 39(2)213-240.

The use of restorative justice in cases of sexual violence is highly contentious. Some argue that it may trivialize violence against women, revictimize the vulnerable, and endanger the safety of victim-survivors. On the other hand, from the perspective of victim-survivors, it may enable us to hear their stories more holistically, offering greater control and validation, and reduce victim-blaming. It may also provide an additional opportunity to secure some form of justice. Debate over the validity of these competing claims has largely taken place in an empirical vacuum. This article considers the results of an exploratory study of a restorative justice conference involving an adult survivor of child rape and other sexual abuse. The results, while necessarily tentative, provide good ground to consider afresh the possibilities of restorative justice in cases of sexual violence. The authors suggest that for those victim-survivors who wish to pursue this option, restorative justice may offer the potential to secure some measure of justice. (Published abstract)