'Why I confronted the man who raped me’
Dr Claire Chung, who has agreed to waive her anonymity in The Sunday Telegraph, was raped twice in the stinking stairwell of a multi-storey car park, and the crime caused her life to collapse “like a pack of cards”.
Dr Chung, a highly regarded GP with more than 20 years’ medical experience, lost her job, her marriage and her home after being raped by Stephen Allen Gale, who had been released from prison for another sexual offence just one day earlier.
But following the attack, which she described in chilling detail, Dr Chung negotiated with the authorities to allow a meeting with Gale in prison.
The meeting was organised as part of a “restorative justice” scheme, which brings criminals face to face with their victims.
Restorative justice is not just saying 'Sorry'
Martin Wright's letter to the editor that didn't get published:
Mark Johnson’s critique gives a chance to correct some common misconceptions about restorative justice (‘Apologising to victims will not reduce reoffending rates’, SocietyGuardian, 18 August). It is not about dragging offenders to see their victims, telling them to say “sorry”, nor making them do menial tasks wearing conspicuous clothing. It does not humiliate offenders (provided it is done properly, of course); they are enabled to show that they can do something useful and be valued for it.
It lets victims explain, and offenders understand, the damaging effects of their actions (and in some cases, such as fights, both have been at fault in some ways). Both are asked questions like ‘What happened?’ ‘Who was affected?’ ‘What do you think and feel about it?’ and ‘What needs to be done to make things better?’ Victims often ask for an apology and/or reparation, but what most of them want is answers to questions and action to make a repeat less likely. This could mean that the offender makes reparation by co-operating with whatever support he or she needs, programmes such as anger management, drug treatment or vocational skills.
Police apologise over child murders probe
from the article on BBC News:
Scotland's largest police force has apologised for a series of failures in its handling of a double child murder.
Strathclyde Police said that it was "extremely sorry" for the way Giselle Ross was treated after the deaths of her sons, Paul, six, and Jay, two.
The children were murdered by their father Ashok Kalyanjee at a beauty spot in the Campsie Fells in May 2008.
Crime victims get right to apology
Criminals could be ordered to say sorry to victims in face-toface meetings as part of their sentence.
Gordon Brown wants those who have had offences committed against them to be given the right to a personal apology.
Criminals would also have to explain why they broke the law and offer some way of putting it right. The plans to shame them would be on top of any prison or community sentence handed out.