Source: (2002) In Restorative justice and family violence, ed. Heather Strang and John Braithwaite, 1-22. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Though there is increasing interest in and support for restorative justice worldwide, in no country has there been a major shift to address family violence through restorative ideas and practices. Braithwaite and Strang, authors of this chapter and editors of the entire book, ask whether this reflects a lack of courage or a prudent recognition of the special risks in applying restorative justice to family violence. Indeed, Braithwaite and Strang point to ambiguity in the status of restorative justice interventions in relation to this type of offense – political and ideological opposition to restorative responses to family violence from some perspectives, while at the same time there is growing openness to the potential and growing empirical evidence of the effectiveness of restorative justice in dealing with crime, even serious crime. With all of this in mind, Briathwaite and Strang survey the key ideas discussed in the remaining chapters of this collection.