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Forgiving in the Face of Injustice: Victims’ and Perpetrators’ Perspectives.

Estrada-Hollenbeck, Mica
June 4, 2015

Source: (1996) In: B. Galaway and J. Hudson (eds.), Restorative Justice: International Perspectives. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, pp. 303-314.

Victims and perpetrators describe their perceptions of incidents when forgiveness did and did not occur. Researchers content coded the micro-narratives, assessed victims’ and perpetrators’ affect, analyzed the extent to which victims and perpetrators rated themselves and the other as contributors to the forgiveness process, and assessed victims’ and perpetrators’ ratings of relationship quality. The results indicate that forgiveness more heavily influences victims’ emotions and assessments than the perpetrators’. A context facilitating a forgiveness process, and potentially the restoration of justice, should include an opportunity for victims and perpetrators to communicate if both the victim and perpetrator desire to work towards forgiveness.


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