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Should restorative justice be used for cases of domestic violence?

Author(s)Azis, Shagufta
Title Should restorative justice be used for cases of domestic violence?
Source International Journal of Restorative Justice, Richmond, 2010, Vol 6, Iss 1, p1-49
Date 2010
Document type Journal article
Summary This article considers whether restorative justice is an appropriate method of dealing with cases of domestic violence. The definition of restorative justice is considered and further discussion is given to the concept of apology. A number of problems are identified with using apology as a restorative justice practice in domestic violence matters including the possibility of the offender using it as a means of coercing the victim to conform to his wishes, and it may be used as a way of shifting the focus of the meetings away from the actual abuse so as to undermine the victim. Difficulties in face-to-face meetings are also discussed, including the need to consider factors such as the relationship between the parties, the crime committed and the safety of the victim. The idea that confronting the abuser in a face-to-face meeting may be important to a woman is discussed. The author concludes that although future research is needed, there is no conclusive evidence that shows that restorative justice would be an appropriate and preferred method of conflict resolution in domestic violence matters and suggests many safeguards and procedures need to be in place before it is undertaken.
Keywords Restorative justice; domestic violence; post traumatic stress disorder; needs; accountability
Topic Restorative justice; domestic violence