Restorative Justice Could Help Victims of Institutional Abuse: Australia
The following report was published by Dr. Jane Bolitho and Karen Freeman of the University of New South Wales in response to the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. RJI has presented testimony to the Australian commission in 2015 urging the use of victims driven and centered restorative justice in cases of sexual abuse of children no matter where that abuse is found.
RJI is encouraged to see this evidence based research published adding to the already existing research showing that victims are unsatisfied with the current justice system which often leaves them out of the system. Victims of violent crime are increasing asking for restorative justice as a way to heal the harm caused by crime while holding offenders accountable as directly as possible.
RJI encourages justice systems to embrace the principles of restorative justice by providing crime victims with access to restorative justice which would include victim offender dialogue if the victim chooses to participate and the offender takes responsibility for his actions and is willing to participate. What we are finding in our work around the globe is that restorative justice is growing rapidly because 1) victims are asking for it, 2) offenders are more likely to be held accountable with its use, and 3) satisfaction with the justice system increases when restorative justice principles are applied. And this is all good news!