About us

Why me? are the only national charity fighting for victims of crime to have access to Restorative Justice.

Many people affected by crime feel sidelined by the criminal justice process. They are often treated only as witnesses in a battle between the offender and the state. By bringing victims of crime together with the person who harmed them, Restorative Justice gives them the chance to ask questions about the crime, explain the impact that it had on them, and have a say in how the harm can be repaired. This has helped many people to move forward from the impact of the crime.

Why me? has two main functions:

1. We campaign for increased use of Restorative Justice

Why me? works with police forces, prisons, probation services and other criminal justice organisations to improve access to Restorative Justice. Our campaigns have had a number of targeted aims, such as empowering people to speak about their experience of Restorative Justice, helping victims of crime receive better information about the process, and improving the provision of Restorative Justice for hate crime.

2. We run our own accredited Restorative Justice service

Our Restorative Justice service facilitates communication between victims and offenders. Our trained and experienced facilitators work with victims of crime to help them access the form of Restorative Justice which is suited to them – whether this is a face to face meeting or indirect communication. They also meet with the offender to prepare them for the interaction. Restorative Justice only goes ahead with both parties’ consent.

All victims are entitled to information about Restorative Justice under the Victims’ Code of Practice. But only 4% of victims with a known offender recall being given this information. That is a problem which we are working to solve, to improve the experience of victims of crime in the UK.

Get in touch if you want to contact our team, subscribe to our newsletter or donate to Why me?

Our Story

Why me? began with a crime.

Will Riley, an Islington business man, was burgled by Peter Woolf. Peter assaulted Will in his house, and was arrested while trying to escape.

Months later, Will met Peter in Pentonville prison in a Restorative Justice meeting and told him how the incident made him feel. He was angry. The crime had affected Will greatly, making him afraid every time he opened his front door. Will got some of the answers he had been looking for. He felt like he better understood what had happened and why it had happened to him. He felt that he had explained how much harm Peter had done, not allowed him to duck responsibility for what he did, and directed him towards a better path.

Peter has continued living on this better path ever since. Having previously committed, by his own reckoning, over 20,000 crimes, Peter never offended again after meeting Will. Until he had the chance to hear about the damage he had done directly from the victim’s mouth, it never really struck Peter how much pain he had been causing people. Seeing the damage he had done encouraged Peter to change his life.

Will set up Why me? with Peter’s help, to fight for more victims to have the opportunity to access Restorative Justice. It changed their lives, and they want to see it change many more people’s lives in the future.

They remain good friends, and continue to campaign for wider access to Restorative Justice.

Meet the team

Why me? have a small but growing team of staff. All of us are committed to fighting for victim’s ability to access Restorative Justice. Read more about our roles and backgrounds.

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Trustees

Why me? have a dedicated team of trustees who work with the staff to help give more victims access to Restorative Justice. Our team includes people with experience in policing, probation, third sector governance, and the criminal justice sector.

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© 2020 Why me? Charity no. 1137123. Company no. 6992709.