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Beyond Apology? Domestic Violence and Critical Questions for Restorative Justice

Stubbs, Julie
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) Criminology and Criminal Justice. 7(2):169-187.

The virtues claimed for restorative justice include its emotional engagement with crime and the opportunities afforded to participants by its discursive character. Yet these issues are rarely explored from a perspective that is attentive to gendered or other asymmetrical forms of social relations. This article explores key issues that remain under-developed in the restorative justice literature from a feminist perspective, taking domestic violence as a focus. Central to this analysis are questions of victims’ interests and safety, expectations about the victim’s role and the appeal to apology and forgiveness in much of the restorative justice literature. It is argued that the challenge of taking gendered harms seriously may require an approach that differs from common restorative justice practices such as the development of hybrid models that draw from both conventional criminal justice and restorative justice. (author’s abstract)


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