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Family violence, fathers, and restoring personhood.

Pennell, Joan
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) Restorative Justice 1(2):268-289.

Restorative justice holds those who abuse as morally responsible and, thus, capable of acknowledging wrongdoing, changing how they relate to others, and rebuilding their sense of personhood. Applying restorative practices in situations of family violence, however, may endanger the participants unless they are prepared for the deliberations and sufficient safeguards are in place. A starting place for engaging some men who abuse in restorative processes is through their role as fathers. ‘Strong Fathers’ was a group programme for men who had committed domestic violence and were referred by child welfare. The men who persevered with the programme were pulled by their desire to be close to their children and pushed by their sense of what it means to be a man and a father. The often painful process restored rather than punished the participants, and the results point to how to interface treatment programmes and restorative practices. (author’s abstract)


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