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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Gender, power and justice : a feminist perspective on restorative justice and intimate violence Cameron, Angela

Abstract

This thesis tests the appropriateness of the use of restorative justice in cases of intimate violence. It examines current definitions, understandings and practices of restorative justice from the perspective of victims of intimate violence, with particular attention to social location. This thesis argues that, in order to achieve a just result, restorative justice models must take into account the needs, and interests of victims as much as those of offenders. This thesis demonstrates how theoretically, and practically the needs of victims of violence are often marginalized in restorative justice, and discusses the particular impacts on victims of intimate violence. This thesis concludes that in some cases restorative justice is not meeting the needs of victims of intimate violence, and in some cases women are being revictimised. In many other cases, due to a serious lack of research, it is unclear whether victims are being helped or hurt. Because of this ambiguity, and the consequences of ignoring the potential dangers, this thesis proposes that there must be a moratorium on new projects dealing with intimate violence. Finally this thesis proposes mandatory national guidelines for current restorative justice initiatives that accept cases of intimate violence, and provides parameters for what cases, if any, should be diverted to these projects.

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