BBC Interview with Victim of Crime, Laura Coel: Restorative Justice Empowers Victims
RJI provides the following link to an excellent BBC interview with Laura Coel, a victim of sexual abuse who chose to participate in a restorative justice meeting with her offender. While not all victims may choose this path RJI believes it is critical that all victims have the right to choose restorative justice which could include a face-to-face victim offender dialogue. Ms. Coel explains the process and why restorative justice empowered her. Victims have questions that only the offender can answer. Only the offender can take responsibility for his crimes. RJI supports giving crime victims the option to participate in restorative justice at various junctures after they have been victimized. The offender must choose to participate voluntarily.
Globally we are learning that victims are asking for more from their justice systems. Through restorative justice processes offender accountability is stressed. Crime victims are much more satisfied after participating in restorative justice. RJI supports public policies that expand options given to crime victim while stressing the need to do more than warehouse offenders in expensive jails or prisons. Restorative justice gets to the root of crime leading to safer communities and changed lives.