Brexit: Restorative Approaches offer hope

Published: Thursday, June 30th, 2016

The EU Referendum has stoked fears, revealed strongly held disparate views and has created uncertainty. People are reacting in different ways, some acting out their beliefs in violent racist attacks, others by avoiding their neighbours, and political leaders by fighting amongst each other. And this is likely to continue for some time.

In this period of uncertainty there are many questions – what happens next, what about me? My family? My pension? My holiday? My job? Who are the ‘others’ who voted the other way? They can be neighbours, family, school teachers, and work colleagues with whom we share streets, workplaces, schools and communities. Although we are not talking about one side being right or wrong, unless there has been a criminal act, a restorative approach offers a way of hearing other people’s points of view.

It has occurred to me over the last few days that the large number of people who have been trained as RJ facilitators over the last few years are an army of enablers, people who are trained to look at conflict straight on; who understand how to set up and support human dialogue, which can move people on. Restorative approaches work with individuals to move stuck thinking and challenge old fears. It can allow new ideas and fresh perspectives to come in. At its simplest, the restorative process allows people a space and structure to listen and understand. And hopefully move on with their lives. This can give peace of mind and release and a new understanding.

While at Why me? we are focussed on opening up Restorative Justice to victims of crime, it is relevant for us to consider the wider application of Restorative approaches.

Politicians are clearly finding it tough to deal with conflict and are making a lot of noise in the process. Restorative professionals are equipped with vital skills and are in pole position to deploy these precious skills and that gives me some hope.

Lucy Jaffé, Director

If you have been a victim of hate crime contact the Police. If you would like to find out whether restorative justice is right for you, then contact Louise Raven-Tiemele on 020 3096 7708

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