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The Possibilities of Using Restorative Justice to Confront Sexual Violence

The Possibilities of Using Restorative Justice to Confront Sexual Violence

The aftermath of the #MeToo movement sparked a consequential dialogue within wider society, where discussions around accountability, consequences for perpetrators, the lack of societal and social support services available to victim-supporters, and the continual pervasiveness of rape culture have again made a resurgence in mainstream conversations. Restorative Justice (RJ) can be usefully defined as “’a process whereby all parties with a stake in a particular offence come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offence and its implications for the future.’”1 In the context of sexual violence, this framework invokes questions such as: In cases of sexual violence, how does one define and identify justice and accountability? What does a process and system of justice that prioritizes the needs and wishes of victim- survivors look like? How can victim-survivors be granted a process and space where they feel like their voice has been heard?

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