Restorative Justice in Nova Scotia: Women's Experience and Recommendations for Positive Policy Development and Implementation Report Available

Wednesday, July 28 2010
Restorative Justice in Nova Scotia: Women's Experience and Recommendations for Positive Policy Development and Implementation Report Available   In Nova Scotia, a coalition of women's organizations, representing the transition houses (Transition House Association of Nova Scotia), the women's centres (Women's Centres CONNECT!), Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, the NS Elizabeth Fry Socities, and the Nova Scotia chapter of National Association of Women and the Law, conducted narrative research with women in conflict with the law, and with women survivors of male violence, discussing Nova Scotia Justice's plans for using restorative justice in cases involving them. (NSRJI is the acronym for the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Iniative)


 

Women identified concerns and hopes for restorative justice from their diverse perspectives, much of which puts in human terms for the first time theoretical or academic analysis of restorative justice programming.


 

This research, unique of its kind, has resulted in Nova Scotia in a Joint Working Group involving women's advocates, Crowns, police and justice department policy makers which has been meeting to begin to address the safety and fairness issues raised in the research.


 

Electronic or hard copies are available by by going to NAWL's website: http://www.nawl.ca/brief-ns-restorative.html


 

An outline of the research:


 

Restorative Justice in Nova Scotia: Women's Experience and Recommendations for Positive Policy Development and Implementation


 

Through inclusive, participatory research and consultation, this research documents Nova Scotia women's perspectives on restorative justice initiatives as they may affect women victims of sexual and intimate partner assault and as they affect women in conflict with the law.


 

Women's experience: Promises, silence and caution in the RJ literature
Project inception: Why women's narratives matter


 

Women's response to the NSRJI and other alternative measures A. Direct and systemic discrimination and the existing justice system 1.Systemic adverse trends impacting NSRJI a. trivialisation of abuse b. victim-blaming and revictimization c. referrals and eligibility criteria 2. Positive aspects of the existing criminal justice system a. measures against abusers b. alternative measures and adult diversion for criminalized women 3. Positive comments regarding NSRJI


 

B.Women's safety and NSRJI

C. Women as primary or sole caregivers: implications for NSRJI


 

D.The role of community 1. Definition of "community" a. "Community" defined by women who have experienced abuse and/or criminalization 2.Community attitudes and awareness levels 3.Community commitment/reciprocity in playing an active role 4. Community resources 5.Training and status of local community justice service providers 6.Rural and small community challenges


 

E. Unintended legal consequences of participation in NSRJI


 

F. Conclusion: Community justice forums and women's healing needs


 

Stories from survivors of male violence whose assailants participated in nontraditional measures


 

Women's vision for restoring the harm A. Woman-centredness B. Support for women's services and other community resources C. Economic independence and restitution D. Better physical security measures for survivors of male violence E. Community education and activism



 

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