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Guest Editor’s Introduction

Ptacek, James
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Violence Against Women, Vol.11 No.5

Searching for ways to expand options for women who are
abused and increase accountability for men who are abusive, a
number of feminists have been exploring restorative justice. At
their best, the variety of informal conflict-mediation practices
now loosely grouped under the rubric of “restorative justice” can
be seen as ways of doing community organizing around criminal
victimization and other kinds of harm. In theory, these practices
seek to decrease the role of the state in responding to crime and
increase the involvement of personal, familial, and neighborhood
networks in repairing the harm that crime causes. As practiced in
New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United States, restorative
justice is most commonly applied to crimes by young people,
largely property crimes. Restorative practices are not recommended
and are even disallowed in many jurisdictions for cases
of rape and domestic violence. Nonetheless, there is increasing
use of these practices to address crimes of violence against
women. Feminists have been examining the dangers and potential
benefits of applying restorative justice practices to crimes of
battering, rape, and child sexual abuse, raising important
challenges for feminist community organizing and for restorative
justice. (excerpt)


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