Beyond apology? Domestic violence and critical questions for restorative justice

Author(s)Stubbs, Julie
Title Beyond apology? Domestic violence and critical questions for restorative justice
Source Criminology & Criminal Justice; 2007; Vol 7 (2), pp 169-187
Date 2007
Document type Journal article
Summary This article examines whether restorative justice (RJ) can be used appropriately for domestic violence victims. The characteristics of domestic violence are outlined and discussed in the context of domestic violence victims. Reparation is seen to be one of the defining characteristics of RJ and a key benefit to victims of crime, however research suggests that for victims of domestic violence reparation is not their main concern when seeking legal intervention, but rather safety and protection. The broad principles of restorative justice such as repairing harm, stakeholder participation and community building do not ensure that practitioners respond to domestic violence adequately and safely. The author discusses the premise that common RJ practices cannot be used for domestic violence victims without significant risks to victims' interests. Emotionality as a virtue of RJ is examined, including apology and forgiveness, and love, empathy and trust. Two RJ models developed for domestic violence models are briefly discussed and the author concludes that it is crucial that any model developed for domestic violence victims challenges subordination, is feasible and appropriately resourced and sustainable over time.
Keywords Domestic violence; restorative justice; safety; emotionality; apology;
Topic Restorative justice; domestic violence