We feature a series of case studies from our Restorative Justice ambassadors giving their personal stories. These stories are powerful illustrations of the impact of Restorative Justice can have and we thank all of our ambassadors greatly for sharing them. The stories below are not to be reproduced without the express permission of Why me?
These stories include crimes that have occurred and may be difficult to read.
If you have been affected by crime and/or would like to have your story published on our website, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2005, Debbie’s brother was beaten to death by two men that he thought were his friends. 15 years later, Debbie met one of the men who had killed her brother in a Restorative Justice meeting. The meeting allowed her to get answers to her recurring questions and gain a sense of closure.
Lisa was walking home from her shift as a nurse when she was attacked by two young people who stole her phone. She later met them in a restorative meeting that was able to give her the closure she needed. Both the young people had English as an Additional Language, so an interpreter was present to translate between Lisa, the young people, and their families during the conference.
Sheldon was approached and threatened with a knife by a young person as he walked through a local park. Following the attack he was keen to meet the young person and one of their parents in a restorative meeting.
“It gave us both the opportunity to confront properly what happened. Whilst I am still wary of walking through the park, the conference has given me closure. Restorative Justice has the potential of saving lives.”
Ann-Marie was the victim of bullying and learning disability hate crime on the bus. She was keen to convey her experience, be treated with dignity and respected for who she was.
So she worked with Restorative Cleveland to make a video talking about her experience.
When his son was robbed, Rob was given the chance to meet the young person responsible to explain the impact of his actions.
Meeting the perpetrator allowed Rob to fully move on from the incident, and lifted a weight off of his shoulders which he didn’t even know he was carrying.
Janika suffered a violent knife attack at the hands of her former partner. He was convicted for attempted murder and remains in prison. She said, “Taking part in restorative justice was the key that unlocked the door to my future.”
Teresa was sexually abused by her father when she was very small. He never admitted the crime, which caused rifts in the family. After years enduring trauma and with her father having passed, Teresa sought Restorative Justice.
Wendy was sexually abused by her father when she was 14 years old. He pleaded guilty and received a £20 fine and a one-year conditional discharge. Over 40 years later, Wendy met her father in a restorative meeting.
Sherrall was verbally attacked by a young person who refused to let her wheelchair pass. Worried that the police would not take her seriously, the incident was never reported. A few years later she contacted Why me? and took part in a restorative conversation.
Paul and his family were enjoying a normal evening when the doorbell rang and a gang of four men pushed their way into the house and demanded cash. The police arrived within 8 minutes, and the four men were subsequently arrested, convicted and jailed for a total of 64 years.
Seven years after he committed a violent attack on her, Lucy met her ex-partner in a restorative meeting.
This meeting gave Lucy the chance to gain closure and move on with her life.
Just a few months after Rachel’s house was burgled, she was invited into prison to share how much hurt and harm he’d caused her and her family.
Viv and her husband were woken during the night after their house was broken into. They were able to talk to the young man until the police arrived, and Viv later met him again through Restorative Justice.
Rosalyn was raped and tortured by a serial rapist, who broke into her home one evening, whilst her two year old daughter slept in the room next door. Rosalyn felt strongly that she wanted to meet her attacker to ask ‘Why?’.
John Mcgowan is the head porter at Durham Cathedral. He lives on site. One night in November 2013 he became aware of noise on the roof of the Chapter House. He went to investigate and saw that four people had climbed up some scaffolding and were putting themselves in much danger as the roof is very high and there is a steep drop into the river at one side.
Kate Morgan’s daughter, Lona, died after her friend Ian Edwards lost control of the car they were travelling in. He was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison.
“I was pleased that he’d got some sort of punishment but the length of the prison term didn’t matter to me. Twelve days or twelve years, it wouldn’t bring Lona back. Over the next few weeks I realised I still had questions I wanted answers to.”
Interested in becoming one of our Restorative Justice ambassadors? Find out more in our leaflet below: