Access to restorative justice expanded to victims of family violence and sexual offences

Released 01/11/2018

Victims of family violence and sexual offences will now have access to the restorative justice process, following the declaration of commencement of phase three of the scheme today.

Minister for Justice Shane Rattenbury said the third and final phase of the voluntary Restorative Justice Scheme will allow both victims and those responsible for offending the option to participate in a facilitated and supported conferencing process.

“The decision to move into phase three of the Restorative Justice Scheme follows extensive consultation with community stakeholders, and particularly victims’ advocacy agencies, including to develop a guideline to support the operation of this phase of restorative justice,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Restorative justice is designed to empower victims of crime to express how an offence has affected them, while promoting offender accountability. With the commencement of phase three, it will be another important tool to address the impact of violence against women, children and vulnerable members of our community.

“When victims of crime have access to a safe setting where they can describe how that crime has impacted their life, it creates a platform for acknowledgement, validation and healing. Restorative justice will only be used where the victim has agreed to the process.

“Under this process, even where victims and offenders live under the same roof, they will never be interviewed together to safeguard coercion-free decision-making.”

Those who have caused the harm must agree to make commitments to attend support services as part of the restorative justice program, to strengthen their ability to take responsibility for their offending behaviour, and to discover empathy towards their victim.

“Not every victim of crime will want to access restorative justice, but for those who do, I am pleased this option is now available to them,” Mr Rattenbury said.

- Statement ends -

Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases

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