Power of One: Restorative justice couples victims with offenders
from the article on CTV.ca:
....A woman named Marité has been taking part in the process, not by facing her sexually-abusive father, but rather, another man who committed similar acts.
She said that results have helped her cope with the damage she suffered.
"For him it was like I was his daughter," said Marité. "And I was able also to express my anger to him and that's what he wanted rather than silence from his daughter."
"I can now go forward because I'm not bound to my father anymore. I can leave him go."
Listening to crime victims: North Carolina restorative justice conference
by Lisa Rea
When crime victims speak about the effect violent crime has had on their lives you have to listen. On June 9th I moderated a crime victims roundtable during the 3rd Annual Restorative Justice Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina coordinated this year by Campbell University Law School. The roundtable called "Listening to Crime Victims: Their Journeys Toward Healing" was sponsored by the Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing. The four victims of violence who told their stories were Bill Pelke, chair, Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing (Alaska), Stephen Watt, Stephen Watt Ministries (Wyoming) , Bess Klassen-Landis, musician and teacher (Vermont), and Kim Book, executive director, Victims Voices Heard (Delaware). No matter how many crime victims panels I have moderated the stories are always riveting and often what I hear the victims say is new even when I am familiar with the stories. I learn something new as the victims move along in their lives---their own personal journeys.
Restorative justice & restorative mediation
from Julie Speer's blog entry:
This past year I’ve had the good fortune of telling several stories related to restorative justice and restorative mediation. Colorado is leading the way with RJ (Restorative Justice), and has gotten a large grant from the Department of Justice to look at how using RJ can decrease the costs to the system. When offenders go through an RJ process, their rate of recidivism is astonishingly low!
Rape victim faces her demon
One of the country's most notorious killers has told one of his victims what she has waited nearly 15 years to hear - he raped her.
Hayden Taylor, 35, who is on preventive detention at Paremoremo Prison for the murder of pregnant teenager Nicola Rankin in 1996, has confessed to Amanda Watt that he assaulted her in the months before Rankin died.
The pair met in prison in an emotion-charged restorative justice hearing.
Restorative Justice on Death Row: healing for crime victims?
by Lisa Rea
A death row inmate in Florida recently died in prison before the state could execute him. I became aware of Robert's case because I met his pen pal, Ines, a woman from Switzerland who had be-friended him through a pen pal organization, Lifespark, based in that country. After being interviewed by Ines for her organization's newsletter on the subject of forgiveness and restorative justice I learned more about the man she wrote in a Florida prison who had served some 20 years on death row. The story came to an end on December 3rd, 2010 when Robert unexpectedly died of cancer. But what I learned from my encounter with Ines was the real need to open doors more fully for all victims of violent crime wherever their offenders live and wherever their victims live (if they are still alive). I learned through Ines that her pen pal, once a very violent offender, was ready to attempt to make things right, as much as possible, with the victims or victim's family members that he had injured. The rap sheet on this man was very violent and longer than I'd ever seen.
I often learn things about restorative justice and how to apply it seemingly coincidentally. When cases draw me, or more likely the people behind the cases, I have a hard time saying no.
Abuse and restoration: A non-violent approach
Editor's note: Mr. Lawrence sent his powerful story to RJ Online. His story is remarkable particularly because he did not have the assistance of restorative practitioners who could have helped him and his father in their initial conversations. Perpetrators or survivors who wish to make contact with the other should find a restorative facilitator to determine if such a meeting is advisable and to help both prepare.
My name is Paige Lawrence and I want to talk to you about reconciling abuse. Reconciliation is about making things whole again, about restoration.
My experience was that the anger and the pain that sexual abuse caused in my family and my life was compromising my ability to accomplish the things I wanted for myself ten, fifteen, even twenty years after the actual abuse occurred.
So, in my late twenties after trying spiritual counseling and psychotherapy to no avail, I tried contacting the sexual abuser who had started it all and talking to him directly.
It was not easy, it was scary and it took a long time to develop the level of respect and trust that we needed to be able to speak plainly to one another; but we did it and I want to share some of what I learned from that experience with you.
I am not a therapist and I am not a PhD, I’m just a guy who experienced sexual abuse first hand and I want very much to share with you what helped me.
In the living room with the lion and the lamb
Karen was sexually abused as a child. Now in her fifties, she sat in the chair across from me and told her story. Decades had passed without resolving the tension adequately with her father. As a grown woman, she was able to instantly lock into her feelings of betrayal from a daddy forever stuck in the past.
Her new friend Wayne sat on the couch to the left listening attentively with somber reflection. He had served time in prison for abusing his own children. He had not seen his own wife or children for a few years. Here was a troubled man wanting to examine his heart to understand why he had failed so horribly.
Kim Workman: My first experience with restorative justice
I have often wondered what restorative justice practitioners would have thought of the process. While much of what happened was culturally appropriate, it may well have been unacceptable in a western setting. The victim, as far as I could determine, did not seem to be traumatised by sharing her story and innermost feelings with the community - nor was she subsequently stigmatised by the villagers as a victim of incest. The penalty was quite severe, and yet at the end of the process, there was provision for reconciliation and full community restoration.