About us

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

Many people affected by crime feel sidelined by the criminal justice process. 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 often helps people affected by crime to move forward and recover, and can help people who commit crime to move onto a better path. 

Our campaigning

We campaign for the wider use of Restorative Justice across the country. Our recent campaigns have focussed on 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. We work with police, probation services, restorative providers, community groups and others to improve understanding and access to Restorative Justice. We also lobby Government to make policy changes which will unlock this opportunity for more victims of crime. 

All victims are entitled to information about Restorative Justice under the Victims’ Code of Practice. But only 5% 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.

Our service

We run our own accredited Restorative Justice service which facilitates communication between victims of crime and offenders. Our trained and experienced facilitators work with both parties to help them access the form of Restorative Justice which is best suited to them – whether this is a face to face meeting or indirect communication. Restorative Justice only goes ahead with both parties’ consent.

 

Read about how our work has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 of crime 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.

To find out more about our Restorative service and policy work during COVID-19,please click here