By Katherine Power (September 14, 2018)
This piece describes the demands that justice makes in the name of people victimized in sexual assaults.
I would add only one point: restorative justice is not about victim and perpetrator talking or repairing a relationship. It is about naming, on behalf of the whole community, the harm that has been done. It is about a community publicly witnessing that what was perpetrated was harmful and must be addressed.
Faced toward the perpetrator, restorative justice is both an insistence and an invitation to see, really see, what they have done to others; to repair and restore where possible; to suffer the discomfort of a disturbed conscience; and to commit to the values of the community they are asking to be restored to.
Faced toward the people whom the perpetrator has harmed, it acknowledges and even measures the harm done; allows them to see that the perpetrator has been called to account.
Faced toward the community, it asserts the value of the person diminished by the harmful acts; declares a community standard of behavior that will be enforced, both by disapproval and by an invitation to return to full participation.