Restorative Justice for Sexual Assaults? Let the Victim Decide
The following article caught our attention at RJI. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbournes-legal-fraternity-considers-restorative-justice-for-sex-assault-victims-20131214-2ze9l.html
It is our opinion at RJI that crime victims should have the right to restorative justice–no matter the crime. This should apply to victims of sexual assault. Some have said that there runs the risk of “re-victimizing” victims of such abuse. However, it is our belief that victims are empowered through restorative justice processes. Victims should have the choice to participate in restorative justice or choose not to participate–at that time. As this article points out often cases of sexual assault go unreported or the offender is never caught. Certainly restorative justice processes that urge offender accountability (i.e. taking responsibility for the crime committed) can only empower victims of abuse.