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Restoring & Empowering Communities (REC Project) Addressing hate and gender-based violence through restorative justice

The current situation:

2021 Southwark Women’s Safety Survey - 586 responses:

25%

felt unsafe during the day

81%

felt unsafe on the street at night

61%

had experienced sexual harassment in a public place

63%

had suffered from gender abuse/violence

58%

of women did not report incidents to the police

GBV and Hate Crime Report

1,016

hate crimes reported in Southwark in 2023

63.6%

of domestic abuse victims in Southwark were female in 2021/2022

92%

of sexual violence occurs from an individual which the person knows

4,545

reports of domestic abuse offenses reported to the police in Southwark in 2022/2023

Project goals

The REC project is a 5-year programme that aims to prevent and address gender-based violence and hate in London. By participating in REC, you will:

  • Restore and Prevent: Receive the support you need to recover from your experiences and gain the strength to prevent future incidents.
  • Grow and Thrive: Enhance your knowledge, skills, and confidence to advocate for yourself and others, contributing to a safer and more respectful community.

Restorative Justice is an ethos with practical goals, among which is to repair harm by including affected parties in a (direct or indirect) encounter and a process of understanding through voluntary, safe and honest dialogue. Restorative justice adopts a fresh approach to conflicts and their control, retaining at the same time certain rehabilitative goals” (Gavrielides, 2020)

Gender-based violence (GBV) refers to any type of harm that is perpetrated against a person or group of people because of their factual or perceived sex, gender, sexual orientation and/or gender identity (Istanbul Convention). GBV includes domestic violence and intimate partner violence including incidents that are not always criminalised.

Hate crime is a legal category, which describes bias-motivated violence. There are a number of specific offences (i.e., assault, injury, murder) where, if the prosecution is able to prove an element of racial/ faith/ homophobic/ disablism/ transphobic/ ageist/ nationalistic/ gender-based aggravation, the accused is liable to receive a higher sentence, if found guilty.  However, Gavrielides (2012) argued that this narrow legal definition is limited and thus he introduced the spectrum idea of hate incidents. The spectrum is particularly useful in capturing the role of restorative justice in the prevention and resolution of incidents not necessarily falling with the high end of the spectrum but could have equally severe trauma and implications for the victim and the community.

Achieving our 5-year project goals

Restorative Justice Encounters

Engage in restorative justice circles, mediation, and conferencing facilitated by experienced practitioners who understand your experiences and needs.

Holistic Support

Access mental health services, food assistance, sports activities, and poverty-relief actions provided by our dedicated community team. We address all aspects of your well-being to support your journey to healing and empowerment.

Restoration and Support

Our restorative justice approach prioritises your needs,  providing support that respects your experiences and empowers you to move forward. 

We train local professionals to integrate restorative justice practices into their support services, ensuring you receive compassionate and effective help.


Empowerment

We will provide you with the necessary tools and support to build your confidence, reclaim your life, and prevent future incidents. 

Empowerment comes from having your voice heard, and restorative justice ensures your voice is given back to you, bringing you real power.

Prevention and Awareness

We raise awareness and foster a culture of respect and understanding within communities to prevent gender-based violence and hate incidents. 

Community

We partner with Southwark Council, local funders, NGOs, Street Games, and other prevention actors to form a supportive network for you. 

Are you affected by violence? Let us support you!

If you have been affected by violence we are here to support you – but we need you to ask! By submitting your referrals, we will guide you through the process, offering tailored support every step of the way. Whether you’re seeking assistance in a specific case or need support without a reported crime, our team is dedicated to helping you navigate through these challenging times.

Self-Referral

  • If there is a case/reported crime: You can ask the agencies in charge of your case to make the referral for you using our form. These agencies have an obligation to do so if requested.
  • If there is no case/reported crime: Please fill out our referral form below.

Referral by Agencies and Organisations

  • Criminal Justice System Agencies: Agencies such as courts, the Crown Prosecution Service, HM Prison Services, and Probation Services can submit referrals.
  • Organisations Outside the Criminal Justice System: GPs, health staff, and support services can also make referrals.

Trainings for Professionals

Does your organisation support harmed parties of GBV/ hate crime, and want to use restorative justice principles, practices, and approaches to support your users?

At RJ4All, we offer free training to organisations based in London with teams of over 5 people, specialising in areas such as youth violence, radicalisation, victim empowerment, and more.

Please email us at training@rj4all.org to express your interest and we’ll get in touch with you to arrange.

And this is our vision: A safer and resilient communities free from violence and hate crimes

Restoring & Empowering Communities (REC) is RJ4All’s user-led, 5-year programme funded by the City Bridge FoundationOur mission is to create a safer, more inclusive London where everyone can live with dignity and respect. 

REC will adopt a holistic approach based on restorative justice values to see the individuals and communities through their realities and needs. REC will be delivered from our Rotherhithe Community Centre, a community hub of around 350 service users monthly, and will be led by the community. 

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.

Signposting and Further Support

If you have experienced harm related to gender-based violence or hate crime and are in need of specialist support in addition to our services, please get in touch with us for signposting, including to the following organisations:

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