- Showing 1 posts filed under: Correspondent:Lisa Rea [–], Victim [–] published between Jun 01, 2012 and Jun 30, 2012 [Show all]
Does restorative justice mean forgiveness?
by Lisa Rea
This is a pretty controversial topic: forgiveness and restorative justice. Do all crime victims who support restorative justice therefore forgive? Does one come then the other? I don’t think so. I know many victims of violent crime who have forgiven. Many of their stories are online at Restorative Justice International (RJI) (see victims stories) and I have told others on this blog.
What is problematic to me is when advocates, experts, volunteers in the restorative justice field (or prison reform field) “expect” victims to forgive or worse they “urge” victims to forgive. To me, it is a journey that only the victim can make. Forgiveness can flow out of participating in a victim offender dialogue (i.e. a restorative justice meeting) but we cannot assume it will. It is rather presumptious for anyone to expect of victim of violent crime to forgive the offender. It’s wonderful when it happens but it is not a necessary outcome of restorative justice.