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Restorative Justice and Intimate Partner Violence

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 12:01 pm Tue 9th December 2008

Last night I attended a presentation at Men’s Centre North Shore by PHD student Anne Hayden. She came to public prominence recently by taking the Herceptin petition to Parliament.

The meeting was attended by 19 men and 2 woman. Although passions ran high at times, the discussion which followed was ably chaired by Jim Bagnal.

Anne’s past experience as a Victim Support worker was that in many relationships it really is a case of “it takes 2 to tango”. Talking about the Mutuality of Violence publicly made her unpopular with feminists, for whom this concept is heresy of the highest order. Anne told us she has been permanently removed from at least one friend’s Christmas card list!

Some of the points she made:

  • the status of offender/victims is usually blurred
  • both parties need a support person in any facilitated mediation.
  • she was dismayed that a recent restorative justice trial explicitly excluded family violence
  • one researcher has reported “Victim Precipitation” in 26% of domestic homicides
  • all offenders participating in restorative justice recommend to others (although not all victims).

Anne is currently investigating whether low domestic violence reporting rates are because of lack of options. Her PHD research question is:

“Why don’t people experiencing personal violence report to police and would access to restorative justice increase reporting?”

She has been told by her supervisor at AUT that her research is NOT feminist-based because she intends to listen to voices of men as well as woman.

She wants to run a focus group for men (only) and invited people to email her a one page summary of their story. Email: [email protected]


  1. “She has been told by her supervisor at AUT that her research is NOT feminist-based because she intends to listen to voices of men as well as woman.”

    Well this is true. Feminism is not about equality. Feminist-based research means you must have a world view where the women are all victims and men have all the power. I am not making this up. It is called “Critical Paradigm”. I.e. one group have the power and another group are victims or victims in waiting. Almost no social research is done with a different paradigm. You can’t accept the possibility than men could be victims and call it feminist-based research. That would be ludicrous.

    Comment by Dave — Tue 9th December 2008 @ 3:57 pm

  2. P.S. I don’t want restorative justice for being on the receiving end of female violence. I want to be able to raise my kids. This researcher is doesn’t seem to realise how disadvantaged fathers are.

    If the female is violent and the male reports this violence. The attack on the male will be re-phrased into terminology where the kids require isolation from the male. The male victim will then suffer a much worse fate of being isolated away from his children.

    This researcher is talking about restorative justice for the violence and is ignoring the much greater and long lasting harm.
    If the female who committed the violence had the prospect of facing restorative justice for her actions can you imagine how the system would work even harder to deny that allegation. The male would be under even greater risk of loosing his children.
    So no, in practice, restorative justice would not increase reporting by male victims. If anything it would make things worse.

    Comment by Dave — Tue 9th December 2008 @ 4:12 pm

  3. I have a report from a Conference two weeks ago in Adelaide on the topic “Narrative therapy in DV”. They also make the point that labels victim and perpetrator are just unhelpful, old and not the way forward.
    This info came to me from an long time executive member of the National co-ordinating committee of the Living Without Violence network.
    They were here in Wellington for their startegy workshop this last weekend.
    It would be great to have more info about this presentation and this researcher as it is an interest area of mine.

    Comment by allan Harvey — Tue 9th December 2008 @ 6:12 pm

  4. An early intervention DV front line coal face service
    that don’t let gender issues hinder progress would go a
    long way to minimize the stress for the children when DV rears its ugly head.
    Early intervention by caring/compassionate people?
    Think of the kids? Yeah right. Not in this ideological
    driven land and pigs just flew into the side of the Beehive.

    Comment by dad4justice — Tue 9th December 2008 @ 8:37 pm

  5. “Restorative Justice” apparently means councelling.
    My experience was of
    a. Many sessions at Marriage Guidance, followed by
    b. Sessions with “The team” at Pupuke mental health unit, because I was depressed.

    In all cases the sessions focused entirely on my wife’s needs, and what more I had to do to make her happy.

    Since my issue was that I had burnt out, and needed help to get myself functioning again, none of this was helpful.

    My answer was to
    a End the “Restorative Justice” (councelling).
    b Seek individual help
    c Ditch the bitch (thus discovering the source of my depression.

    Since then everything has been in a state of continual improvement.

    My recommendation is that “Restorative Justice” will be useless, until concellors are able to assist men.

    Comment by John Brett — Wed 10th December 2008 @ 9:00 am

  6. restorative justice is jive turkey

    She wants to run a focus group for men (only) and invited people to email her a one page summary of their story. Email: [email protected]

    this is my one page summary

    Instill the rights of men and women to an equal status before you start implementing your jive turkey hogwash on modern society. This restorative justice bullshit is backwards, you have to first create an equal environment for both men , women and children, that does not exist at present, (by first removing all the anti-male media propaganda) that is where FOCUS is required.. Again restorative justice is a philosophy based upon no foundation of equality first. IT IS VERY DANGEROUS INDEED I SAY..


    they say – “in the best interest of the child”
    they do – “the opposite, by means of outright fraud and deception”

    restorative justice is jive turkey

    and to think that these university academics (educated idiots) have got a clue, is just a joke.. Hang ’em high…

    Comment by don't step on my blue suede shoes — Fri 12th December 2008 @ 12:44 pm

  7. and to think that these university academics (educated idiots) have got a clue, is just a joke

    How are they ever going to learn unless men engage them?



    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Fri 12th December 2008 @ 3:28 pm

  8. Oh thanks poster #6. You must be right; everyone who is university educated is an idiot who should be hanged. I’ll wave down to you as the noose tightens around my neck. Good thing we have such well-considered and sensible posters here.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Sun 14th December 2008 @ 10:34 am

  9. he was criticising university academics, Hans, not university educated people in general !

    Comment by perseus — Tue 16th December 2008 @ 10:52 am

  10. The existence of the MENZ website has been largely thanks to a university academic being prepared to feed and nurture the webmaster. Taring whole groups with the same brush is just plain dumb, I reckon.

    It’s true there are some nutters at universities, but my personal experience is that the majority of them are good people who contribute heaps to the advancement of our society.

    I believe Anne Hayden at least has an open mind, and she has my respect for daring to challenge feminist orthodoxy.

    Whether her research has an impact or whether it disappears without a trace is another story, but I think she deserves support.

    Comment by JohnP — Tue 16th December 2008 @ 2:58 pm

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