Transforming campus culture to prevent rape: The possibility and promise of restorative justice as a response to campus sexual violence
From the article by Alletta Brenner on The Harvard Journal of Law & Gender Blog:
Though feminists have long argued that rape is linked to sex discrimination, legal responses to rape tend to ignore the ways that social and cultural norms contribute to sexual violence. One exception, however, exists in the context of federal anti-discrimination law under Title IX, which applies to colleges and universities that receive federal funds. Under the legal framework established by Title IX, rape constitutes a form of severe sexual harassment, to which educational institutions are legally obligated to respond.An institution’s failure to do so is considered evidence of sex discrimination and may subject it to both federal penalties and civil liability. Recently, this obligation was further strengthened by the passage of legislation that codifies particular aspects of what campus grievance processes for rape survivors must include and requires schools to take affirmative steps to transform campus culture to prevent rape.
Sex victims 'should get court choice'
From the article by Jane Lee in The Courier:
Victims of sexual assaults, particularly in cases unlikely to result in a conviction, should be able to access other forms of justice, former state attorney-general Rob Hulls says.
Mr Hulls, now the director of RMIT's Centre for Innovative Justice, said that while more people had been prosecuted for sexual offences over the past five years, they still carried one of the lowest rates of conviction of any crime.
This was partly due to the ''he said, she said'' battle after perpetrators pleaded not guilty, and the high standard of proof - beyond reasonable doubt - required for serious crimes.
The adversarial court system, which is often costly and unwieldy, had failed many victims as a result. It would continue to deter them from the prosecution process and could retraumatise them.
Restorative justice for sexual assault
from the entry by Miri on Brute Reason:
....Someone asked me to write about what restorative justice might look like from the perspective of a rape survivor. To be clear, I am not a survivor of rape, although I am a survivor of sexual assault. In any case, I can only speak for myself.
But when I think about justice, this is what comes to mind.
I would want a perpetrator of sexual assault to have to learn about the roots of what they did. It’s not as simple is “Sexual assault is bad, don’t sexually assault people.” I would want them to understand rape culture. I would want them to understand all of the factors that might have contributed to their decision (because, yes, it was their decision) to sexually assault someone. I would want them to understand that their socialization has prepared them to become a person who sexually assaults people, but that this can be undone.
Rape victim 're-victimised' by system
It took Helena Watson more than three decades to speak out about her father's sexual abuse.
Now the Christchurch woman says she has been revictimised by restorative justice.
An Outcome Evaluation of Minnesota Circles of Support and Accountability (MnCoSA)
....The use of the COSA model with high-risk sex offenders began in a small Mennonite community in Canada in the early 1990s. Grounded in the tenets of the restorative justice philosophy, the COSA model attempts to help sex offenders successfully reenter http://www.doc.state.mn.us/publications/documents/9-12MnCOSAResearchinBrief.pdfthe community and, thus, increase public safety, by providing them with social support as they try to meet their employment, housing, treatment, and other social needs. Each COSA consists of anywhere between four and six community volunteers, one of whom is a primary volunteer, who meet with the offender on a regular basis. The results from several evaluations of the Canadian COSA model suggest it significantly reduces sex offender recidivism....
Some sex offences are best dealt with out of the courts
from the article by Greg Barns in The Age:
....In the context of the royal commission into sexual abuse in institutions, it is timely to consider whether or not all cases that can be categorised as sex offences ought to be dealt with through the traditional court process. In particular, those cases that involve allegations of abuse but do not involve penetration or other forms of physical violence.
More meditations on restorative justice
from the entry by kario on The Writing Life:
….It wasn't until I saw my molester as a human being that I began to heal my own profound wounds. I spent years in therapy, took lots of different anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants, started yoga, and came to a better place, but the REAL freedom from pain came when I forgave him. Not in person (I don't honestly even know if he is alive today), but in my heart.
That doesn't mean that I don't still feel the impact of his behavior in my life and it doesn't mean I would have the courage to meet him face-to-face if I had the opportunity, although I hope I would. It means that I acknowledge that he made a big mistake and, as a human being, he was entitled to do that. It doesn't mean that he is absolved of any wrongdoing, especially since I suspect he molested lots of other children as well, but it means that I don't feel as though I can pass judgment on him and his life. I certainly don't believe he deserves to be killed for his actions, although I did for many, many years.
Teenage rape prevention campaign launched
from the article on Pirate FM News:
Pirate FM has learnt nine under eighteens have been convicted of sex offences on younger teenagers in Cornwall and Devon over the last year.
But almost thirty were dealt with by restorative justice, where the victim and attacker work out a solution together.
'Why I must speak out to stop my rapist being freed'
After Dr Claire Chung was raped by a stranger at knifepoint, she took two extraordinary and courageous steps.
Firstly, she confronted him face to face after his conviction, as part of a programme known as “restorative justice”. Then she waived her anonymity, speaking of the decision she took to face the man who had attacked her.
Now she is speaking out again, this time to voice her concerns at a parole system which could free Stephen Allen Gale early next year.
Project Restore: An exploratory study of restorative justice and sexual violence
Unlike the early development of restorative justice processes which was practice led,Project Restore first engaged with various bodies of knowledge, including the separate fields of sexual victimisation, sexual offending and restorative justice. They also gathered information from researchers working at the intersection of restorative justice and sexual violence or gendered violence.