About Why me?
We are a national charity campaigning and advocating for greater access to Restorative Justice for victims in England and Wales. We work with victims, offenders, statutory services, voluntary organisations and Criminal Justice agencies and in 2015 launched our own Restorative Justice Service giving the right to everyone who has suffered as a result of crime to have their chance to talk about what happened.
About Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice (RJ) is a voluntary process involving victims and offenders of crime. Trained facilitators work with victims and offenders to talk about what happened, who was affected, and how the harm can be repaired.
Restorative Justice can happen at any stage of the criminal Justice process. It only occurs if both parties agree to take part.
Restorative Justice has been shown to give significant benefits to victims of crime, who often have unanswered questions, and who can be excluded from the criminal justice process. It also reduces repeated offending rates.
We believe that all victims of crime should have the right to be told about and offered Restorative Justice.
Here are two leaflets explaining how Restorative Justice works to victims and offenders.
About Our History
Why me? was set up by a victim of crime for victims of crime. Will Riley, an Islington businessman, was burgled by Peter Woolf. He met Peter in prison in a Restorative Justice meeting and had the opportunity to tell him how he felt. He challenged Peter and got some answers – his life changed- he could open his front door without fear. Following the meeting Peter went ‘straight’ after years of crime, meaning that hundreds more people did not become victims. This is the power and the potential of Restorative Justice.
About Our Work
The victim’s experience lies at the heart of what we do. Through our campaigns, our Restorative Justice service, and our communications work we aim to ensure that more victims have the chance to go through Restorative Justice.
We are working on targeted campaigns to increase the understanding, quality and provision of Restorative Justice.
Our Access to Justice project focuses on the use of Restorative Justice for hate crime. We are working with police forces and community groups in Lancashire, Cambridgeshire and Avon & Somerset to ensure that Restorative Justice is used more effectively for hate crime, and to generate findings about best practice in this area.
We are also working with the Parole Board to support greater awareness of Restorative Justice among Parole Board Members, and to increase understanding about The Parole Board process among Restorative Justice services and practitioners.
And our Valuing Victims Campaign looked at the low percentage of victims who are made aware of Restorative Justice, and at what Police and Crime Commissioners can do to improve this.
Why me? deliver our own Restorative Justice service. We work in collaboration with victim and criminal justice agencies throughout England and Wales, and have received the Restorative Justice Quality Mark, demonstrating that we deliver a high quality practice.
Our trained and experienced facilitators work with victims of crime to help them meet their needs, and work with offenders to take responsibility for their actions.
We aim to be the lead organisation at communicating the need for greater use of Restorative Justice.
We have a number of victim ambassadors who have gone through Restorative Justice and are eager to tell their stories to highlight how beneficial the process is.
Many of them have spoken to the national media, generating significant attention for the practice. We are always seeking coverage for our work, and for Restorative Justice in general.
Meet The Team
We are a small charity with national reach. Our Board, facilitators and employees bring a wealth of experience both within the Criminal Justice, Voluntary and Social Enterprise sector.
Director, Lucy Jaffé
Lucy ensures that Why me? establishes strategical links with criminal justice agencies and stakeholders and works to develop fruitful partnerships. As a result the organisation is well informed and placed to speak on behalf of victims of all crime types. If you want to know more, or have something to say, we would be delighted to hear from you.
Trevor Watson has joined the Why me? team as the Victim Centred Policy and Campaigns Officer. Trevor is a retired senior police officer from Durham with previous restorative experience having worked with Restorative Solutions and the Restorative Justice Council, ‘His knowledge of national restorative work is an asset to our organisation and will further promote the benefits of restorative practice to the Police and Crime Commissioners’ said Lucy Jaffe, Director of Why me?
Ben is our Policy and Communications Officer. Ben has worked in Communications for a number of third sector organisations, and is also a Local Councillor in Sutton.
He is focusing primarily on our Access to Justice Project, working with specialist organisations to produce policy which improves access to Restorative Justice for victims of hate crime. He also maintains all of our communication networks; including our website, social media and newsletter.
Tehmina Kazi has joined the Why Me? Team as the Development Officer. She is responsible for the development of restorative justice with communities and individuals affected by hate crime in Greater London. From 2016 to 2018, she was a policy and advocacy officer for CESCA, an alliance of 18 equality and human rights groups in Cork, Ireland, which involved policy work and casework on hate crime. From 2009 to 2016, she was the director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy, a registered charity set up to challenge both anti-Muslim sentiment and extremism. She has also completed project work for English PEN, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the People’s Vote campaign (on the impact of Brexit upon BAME communities, specifically in regards to hate crime).
Founder, Will Riley
A London-based businessman who founded Why me? in 2009 following his own personal experience of Restorative Justice. Some years ago Will was the victim of an attempted burglary at his home; he confronted the intruder, a fight ensued, and Will handed the man over to the police. The burglar was Peter Woolf, a known career criminal, who has convicted and set to prison for the crime. They met again in a Restorative Justice meeting, to which both men agreed. It took place in Pentonville Prison, and that event changed both their lives. Peter and Will subsequently made a film of their encounter called The Woolf Within.