Restorative Justice praised during Post Traumatic Stress Awareness Month
In the Journal of Experimental Criminology it was recorded that victims who go through the Restorative Justice process are 49% less likely to suffer from post traumatic stress.
June marks Post Traumatic Stress Awareness month, recognising the millions of people around the world who are still reliving the most distressing events of their lives. Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne is using this month to promote and raise awareness of Restorative Justice (RJ) as a process of healing for any victim of crime. She has worked with partners to produce a short emotive video (voiced by actors) about how the RJ process has helped victims across Sussex. Watch here.
RJ is a powerful and effective voluntary process which gives the victim the chance to explain to the offender the impact that their crime has had on THEM. It will only happen if the victim and the offender both want to take part and a trained facilitator decides that it's safe.
The award-winning Sussex Restorative Justice Partnership was established by the PCC in September 2014. It is made up of more than 20 agencies which have an interest and commitment to deliver restorative services to victims and offenders of crime, including the National Probation Service, Her Majesty’s Prison Service, Sussex Police, Sussex Pathways and Victim Support.
Mrs Bourne comments: “As PCC, I remain fully committed to giving all victims the right to access restorative justice if they want it. I'm immensely proud of the work of our award-winning RJ Partnership which has helped hundreds of victims in Sussex to restore their faith, not just in the justice system, but in society as a whole.
“I want to take this opportunity to raise awareness of RJ because giving victims of crime a voice and an opportunity for closure is incredibly important to me.”
Restorative justice often involves a conference, where a victim meets their offender face to face. Sometimes, when this is not appropriate, the victim and offender can communicate via letters, recorded interviews or video instead. It's a process which puts the victim in control and gives them the opportunity to seek answers from their offender.
Steve, local RJ facilitator said: “Forgiveness and anger are always present in RJ and they are emotions which should not be ignored. Forgiveness needs to be earned and anger vented. RJ helps the victim to break down the ‘monster’ perception they may have of their offender and begin a healing process.”
If you have been a victim of crime in Sussex and would like to enquire about the RJ process, you can find the contact details of your local RJ Hub here.