The EFRJ is involved in the European project Restorative Justice in Cases of Domestic Violence, Best practice examples between increasing mutual understanding and awareness of specific protection needs (JUST/2013/JPEN/AG/5487), that is coordinated by the Verwey-Jonker Institute in the Netherlands. Partners from Austria, Denmark, Finland, Greece and the UK are contributing to the project. The main idea is to come up with guidance under what conditions RJ can be offered to victims and offenders.
The first results, as presented in this comparative report, show that the use of RJ in Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) cases is happening in Europe and in the countries involved in this study. At the same time there is a large variety in the way they work at the local level. There are some common problems and fears as mentioned in the comparative report dealing with issues like the importance of a good preparation phase, safety as an overall point of concern and the importance to work around after care.
Next stage of the project
Currently the project is in a phase were interviews with victims and offenders who have taken part in mediation are taking place which will also result in a comparative report. In February 2015 a fruitful expert meeting was held in Hannover, whereby mediators, policemen and public prosecutors from the involved countries came together to exchange practices with the researchers and to jointly work on ideas for a common practical guide that can assist practitioners working in the field. The main points to address are: What are the relevant RJ practices and policies concerning IPV in different countries? And what is needed, useful for you in the field when it comes to guidelines? What do victims and offenders need? The discussions concentrated on issues like safety and voluntariness, screening and risk assessment, legal aspects and different methods in the mediation that can be used (such as the Austrian mirror method). The next closed expert meeting of the project will take place in London from 1-3 June 2015 where the finalization of the guide is the main task and preparations for pilots to test it. In January 2016 a final conference will be organized in Brussels.
Click here to read the first Comparative report on Restorative Justice in Cases of Domestic Violence