Sexual Offences and Restorative Justice
We believe it is important to state our position on the use of Restorative Justice for sexual offences. This is outlined in our interim position paper below.
We note that there is a national drive to seek out of court disposals for sexual offences. This is partly motivated by budget restraints but also the sheer volume of cases coming to the attention of criminal justice authorities.
When Why me? were asked to contribute to the JUSTICE Working Party report on Prosecuting Sexual Offences, which was published on 10th June 2019, this prompted us to clarify our position on the use of Restorative Justice.
The JUSTICE report, which looks at the more efficient and just prosecution of sexual offences, resulted in the Working Party taking a more holistic view of sexual offences. This included addressing issues around prevention and reduction in reoffending.
We are pleased that Restorative Justice is mentioned in the report with respect to Education about images and its use as an educative tool, if used in the right circumstances. We are concerned, however, that it is viewed as a tool for offender remorse and rehabilitation, rather than having victims’ needs as the focus for the process.
Clearly there is a need for a deeper understanding of Restorative Justice and its potential to prioritise the well-being and safety of the victim.
Read our report and write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments!