Source: (2003) M.A. thesis, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. Downloaded 30 November 2004.

Behind this dissertation lies Heather Nancarrow's long involvement in Queensland and on a national level in Australia in the domestic violence prevention sector. Nancarrow's research project stems from her concern that the gains of the women's movement toward reducing and even eliminating domestic violence seem to benefit some women more than others. In 2000 a review of state-funded domestic services in Queensland indicated that many of the responses to domestic violence were irrelevant or minimally beneficial to indigenous women, especially those in rural and remote communities. In the same year two other reports from the Queensland Government contradicted each other on the question of appropriate justice models to deal with violence against women. One recommended restorative justice as a process that empowers indigenous peoples and maximizes community participation in crime prevention. The other, more narrowly interpreting restorative justice almost entirely in terms of victim-offender mediation, recommended that victim-offender mediation should never replace the criminal justice system; indeed, in this view, domestic violence offenses should as a matter of principle result in criminal prosecution when the evidence warrants it. Given the composition of each task force, Nancarrow believes that these opposite positions represent a "racialized" divergence on the application of restorative justice practices in cases of domestic and family violence. This observation and her concern about equitable responses to domestic and family violence gave rise to this study.

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