RJ and Gender-based Violence

Restorative Approaches for Gender-based Violence

March 14, 2022

While punitive and carceral approaches have been the principal responses to gender-based violence in the United States, there is growing interest in using restorative approaches to heal from the harm caused, promote accountability and ensure that the cycle of violence is not perpetuated.  

Danielle Sered, Common Justice Director, says that all solutions to violence should adhere to four guiding principles.  Interventions to prevent and intervene in violence should:

  • Be survivor-centered - The needs of survivors should be centered and prioritized
  • Accountability-based - Common Justice highlights five key elements of accountability: (1) acknowledging one’s responsibility for one’s actions, (2) acknowledging the impact of one’s actions on others, (3) expressing genuine remorse, (4) taking actions to repair the harm to the degree possible, and (5) no longer committing similar harm.
  • Safety-driven - our response to violence should prioritize community safety and finding ways of ensuring safety, while minimizing isolation and coercion.
  • Racially equitable - First of all, survivors of color are less likely: to have their needs met, their needs centered, and their desires heeded.  Second of all, we have to focus on the systemic and structural racial inequities that are a driver of gender-based violence, like racial inequity found in our schools, employment, housing, healthcare and mental health support.

At GCC, we see the Restorative Justice Movement and the Transformative Justice Movement as sister movements seeking to promote and enact these guiding principles.  As GCC explores ways of incorporating restorative approaches to gender-based violence in Athens and beyond, we seek to learn from the transformative justice (TJ) movement.  Mia Mingus, writer and organizer with the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective, describes Transformative Justice on her blog Leaving Evidence as “a political framework for responding to violence, harm & abuse…without creating more violence.”  

We invite you to learn more about the transformative justice movement and efforts to end gender based violence by exploring TJ resources and reflections here.

other blogs and recommended reading

Liberatory Consciousness

We cannot do restorative justice work well if we are not also fighting for racial equity in the spaces that we work. Looking through the lens of equity, we find the concept of liberation. This brings up the question, how do we grow our liberatory consciousness?

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GHC to offer courses for RED Restorative Justice Program

Georgia Highlands College has partnered with Rehabilitation Enables Dreams to offer college access to students in the RED Restorative Justice Program.

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"Over Ruled" Contemplates the Upward Spiral of Restorative Justice

Taken at face value, the 12′ structure installed on playa will spell out a cheeky provocation, “NO DANCING,” clearly legible from afar. But as the viewer approaches, each of the large block letters will reveal a story, a testimonial from a real person about a personal experience with unjust rules. Smith sees the piece as a call to awareness of social injustice and the power of restorative justice.

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The Gift of GCC Training and Whole-School Change

Clarissa Gonzalez shares the impact that GCC whole-school restorative practices implementation training has had on her Nevada school.

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Students Belong in Class, So This School Redesigned Discipline to Honor That

Angela Monell and Southwest Guilford High School are committed to restorative practices as a way to keep kids in class and out of trouble.

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Regulating Restorative Justice: What Arbitration Teaches Us About Regulating The Restorative Process In Criminal Courts

This Note from Hope Harriman shares her introduction to Restorative Justice as a volunteer in Rwanda, her journey with the Restorative Justice Community Court in Chicago, and her opinions about possible regulations on restorative justice to ensure its success.

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