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Sexual Assault and Restorative Justice

Daly, Kathleen
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) Paper presented at Restorative Justice and Family Violence Conference, Australian National University, Canberra, July 2000.

Daly argues that the dichotomy between restorative and retributive justice needs to be revisited. In the case of sexualized violence, restorative processes have been criticized for leniency by not punishing victims appropriately. At the same time, the judicial process relegates the crime to the physical act and discounts the emotional harm created by rape and other crimes. Also, society is characterized by power imbalances between and within groups. These issues create a scenario that according to Daly cannot be solved. She argues for a rethinking of the term retribution and how it may be incorporated into the restorative paradigm. In analyzing conferencing cases from South Australia, Daly points out that the conference has a higher rate of dealing with the case than courts; while giving the victim the political space she needs to openly discuss both the physical and emotional damage created by the crime.


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