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From parallel to intersecting narratives in cases of sexual assault.

Bletzer, Keith V.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2011) Qualitative Health Research XX(X) 1– 13. DOI: 10.1177/1090820X11430948.

Restorative justice alternatives to criminal justice are designed to balance the needs of victims, offenders, families,
friends, and the community at large to achieve social justice, repair of victims, and deterrence of crime. In the
model we evaluated from RESTORE (Responsibility and Equity for Sexual Transgressions Offering a Restorative
Experience), each offender and victim received individual services and met in guided conferencing to mutually
determine reparative actions for the offender. At the exit meeting, the offender, as the responsible person, read a
written apology to the survivor/victim. In this article, we analyze the expression of empathy in the apology, in which
the initial mitigation of responsibility in early documents was replaced by acknowledgment of harm to the survivor/
victim and acceptance of responsibility for the assault. Those accused of felony rape and those targeting a visible
person in cases of misdemeanor indecent exposure expressed greater regret and remorse than offenders of indecent
exposure with an indeterminate victim. (Author’s abstract)


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