Restorative Justice and Intimate Partner Violence
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]