- Showing 2 posts filed under: Offender [–] published between Dec 01, 2011 and Dec 31, 2011 [Show all]
Restorative justice in a case of serious sexual assault
....I was raped twice, at knifepoint, by a man who had been released from prison, just 24 hours earlier. I was his 27th victim. I reported the crime immediately. He had walked off abruptly in the middle of the attack and I was sure of 2 things: he had done this before and he would do it again.
I was believed and the rapist was caught, sentenced and returned to prison. Justice was done. Since the assailant pled “guilty” he was allowed a third off his tariff and the Judge, “to spare me any further distress”, proceeded quickly to his decision. Although I was in court, nobody looked at me and nobody heard me.
Good and bad victims?
It is tempting for restorative justice advocates, consciously or not, to differentiate between “good” and “bad victims.” Good victims are those who are ready to forgive and reconcile; bad victims are those who are angry, punitive and unforgiving.
“How do we react to such victims?” asks Heather Strange in her essay, “Is Restorative Justice Imposing Its Agenda on Victims?” (Critical Issues in Restorative Justice, Zehr & Toews, eds.). “Probably most often by dreading and discouraging the one and encouraging and welcoming the other,” she observes. Strange goes on to suggest that “bad” is often a function of the emotional harm they have suffered and that they may have the most to gain from an encounter.