The real challenges of penal mediation in gendered violence cases are correct screening proceedings and adequate coordination protocols.
The need to count with rigorous screening-proceedings, directed to control the concurrence of all the conditions that justify the suitability of the case for mediation, is one of the big challenges of restorative justice.
The programs developed in North America tend to select the cases for the programs depending on their seriousness and the disposition of the author to take part in the proceeding . Personally, I do believe that the methods contemplated in the Austrian programs -more orientated to the victim and her safety- respect much better the objectives of mediation in the field of gendered violence.
The access of the mediators to a specialized formation in the power and interpersonal control dynamics and in the methods for detecting the presence of violence in the relation will be determinant to develop the mediation -also in order to get the mediators immunized in front of attitudes that trivialize the phenomenon of gendered violence- .
The so called “intermediating function” of the programs should also be outlined. Without their coordination work with other support and assistance instruments, any expectation about the aptitude of penal mediation to produce stable changes in the dynamics of the relation would be illusory . The coordination protocols will be the real touchstone of this new form of justice.
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