Source: (-0001) Unpublished Manuscript. Tuscon Arisona: RESTORE programme. Univeristy of Arizona.

Many people have questions or are confused about what restorative justice is and whether it does justice to victims. This article attempts to clarify these issues. It focuses on sex crimes outside the context of longstanding relationships. Thus, marital rape is explicitly excluded. Admittedly this is an arbitrary distinction that oversimplifies women’s real experiences, yet it is consistent with how sexual assault and domestic violence are addressed within state criminal statutes. Five topics are considered. First, victims’ survival needs and moral justice needs are described and the large group of community providers and policy makers who already participate in “restoring” victims is identified. Second, contemporary obstacles experienced by sex crime victims’ in their quest for justice are highlighted using data from national surveys and criminal justice system performance data. Third, retention of sex crime accountability within the conventional justice is defended contingent on extensions in the menu of services to better meet victims’ identified needs. Fourth, a demonstration program is described that implements a justice-system based restorative conferencing model for selected sex crimes. The article concludes by noting the barriers faced by those dedicated to expanding justice choices for sex crime victims and suggesting an action strategy. (excerpt)