''We need to offer non-adversarial options, not as a supposedly soft alternative or diversion but as part of the core business of justice,'' Mr Hulls said at the international Broadening Restorative Perspective conference at the MCG on Tuesday.

''Most importantly, we can no longer assume that a wrong is adequately addressed by a mutually exclusive choice.''

Research showed that while victims wanted offenders punished, they wanted the crimes against them condemned, to share their stories in their own way and to prevent future violence more.

''We owe it to victims of sexual offences to find better paths through the maze - ones more likely to see their experiences properly acknowledged, and prevent them from occurring again,'' he said.

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