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PRESS RELEASE: Empowering Communities to Address Gender-Based Violence and Hate Incidents through Restorative Justice

For Immediate Release 

London, March 2024: The Restorative Justice International Institute (RJ4All) has forged a new partnership with the City Bridge Foundation, which has provided funding through a five-year grant, to launch the Restoring and Empowering Communities (REC) project. REC will focus on three core aims: preventing gender-based violence (GBV) and hate incidents, providing support to both direct and indirect victims, and empowering local professionals to integrate restorative justice practices into their support services for affected individuals.

Restorative justice is the community's own response to harm. It is for all and especially for those who are impacted by complex relationships of power. Gender-based violence and hate-motivated incidents are typical examples of such harms and I am thrilled to be able to offer restorative justice for all and wrap around support. City Bridge Foundation once again proved to be a brave funder supporting innovation and marginalised communities”.

Gender-based violence and hate are pressing issues in our community, exacerbated by the recent conflict in Gaza, resulting in a 400% increase in hate incidents. Domestic violence, often overlooked in criminal law, remains inadequately addressed. RJ4All, through its close engagement with service users in its London-based community centre, acknowledges the heightened concern of GBV since the pandemic. 

RJ4All and City Bridge Foundation are urged to take immediate action, led by local communities, to address this problem. Through REC, RJ4All aims to advance its key mission: to tackle poverty, promote equality, foster community cohesion, and uphold human rights. The funding will support our project to become the world’s first restorative justice postcode, employing a combination of restorative practices and ongoing support for both victims and perpetrators. 

"We look forward to seeing RJ4All expand its work tackling gender-based violence and hate incidents through restorative justice interventions. We recognise the importance of this work and hope it can lead to lasting change.”

One significant intervention by REC is to enhance the expertise and empower professionals, including teachers, criminal justice agencies, and social workers, to utilise restorative justice as a tool for addressing GBV and hate. Additionally, REC will implement a London-wide campaign aimed at amplifying the voices of both victims and perpetrators of GBV and hate incidents through various mediums, including online and offline stakeholder engagement, consultations, and dissemination of knowledge products.

In one of our weekly Restorative Justice Circles, a community member shared their experience with enthusiasm:

Participating in RJ4All’s community sessions has made me realise the closeness I share with others. Now, I feel connected to people around me, knowing there’s a safe space to share my problems and seek help.”

Building upon such individual stories, RJ4All is dedicated to making a significant impact by nurturing strong, trusting relationships within our local community. Over the past decade, we have amassed valuable expertise, formed strategic partnerships, and conducted extensive research. We are well-prepared to continue this important work, and we extend our sincere gratitude to the City Bridge Foundation for their ongoing support in fulfilling our mission.

As we move forward, we invite practitioners in the field of restorative justice to join us in our efforts. We are currently building a register of Restorative Justice Practitioners and invite anyone who would like to be part of this transformative project to fill in our practitioners survey.

Ends.

Media contact: Anna Fosse Galtier, UK Operations Manager| a.fosse-galtier@rj4all.org |

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Information for editors 

Restorative Justice for All International Institute (RJ4All)

RJ4All is a charitable international institute with a mission to address power abuse, conflict, and poverty through the use of restorative justice values and practices. We do this through a combination of restorative justice projects delivered both internationally and locally at the RJ4All Rotherhithe Community Centre in London.  We advance community cohesion, equality, human rights, and redistribute power by supporting civil society and delivering social justice and poverty relief projects, educational programmes and high-quality volunteering opportunities for marginalised groups.  

 

For more information: https://rj4all.org/

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