Ten years of Why me?
Ten years ago, Restorative Justice was an obscure intervention championed by a few enthusiastic pioneers. Today it forms part of the Victims’ Code, Police and Crime Commissioners provide it across the country, and it is being used for every type of crime. It is no coincidence that Why me? celebrates its 10th year as a charity this year. Volunteers, staff, trustees, supporters, ambassadors and funders have all contributed to Will Riley’s original vision – to make Restorative Justice available to all victims of crime. Many of these people gathered at a wonderful event at Clifford Chance’s beautiful offices in London, to celebrate our ten years of action.
Over the last decade, thousands of people who have been affected by crime have benefited from this very human approach to crime. People like Rob, who met the person who beat up his son in a restorative meeting and now champions the cause; and Janika, who was stabbed 8 times by her ex-partner and fought for the right to tell him about the impact this had on her.
The transformational potential of the restorative process is not limited to victims of crime. People who commit offences often realise for the first time how their actions hurt other people while going through Restorative Justice. This includes people like Jamie, who says that Restorative Justice gave him back his conscience; and Peter, who talks about how his victims went from being an A4 sheet of paper to real people and stopped committing crime from that day forward.
The evidence shows that Restorative Justice empowers people to communicate and move forward with their lives, reducing reoffending and helping victims to cope and recover. It’s a common sense solution to the complex problem of crime.
Why me? exists because of the loyalty of our volunteers, the dedication of the staff and trustees, and the generous funders who continue to support our work. There is no quick fix – victims are still woefully under-informed about Restorative Justice. So we still have our work cut out to make Restorative Justice truly accessible to them. But we have big plans for the next decade and look forward to collaborating with our friends, partners and with Government to really make a difference to people’s lives.
We welcome all donations, big or small, which will help us to continue fighting for greater access to Restorative Justice.