In 2020, on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, the EFRJ launches a call for stories and testimonials from individuals who participated in a restorative process (victim-offender mediation, restorative conferencing, peace-making circle, etc.) and are willing to share their experiences in any way. These individuals include victims, survivors, perpetrators of harm, family and community members affected by the harm within and beyond cases of criminal justice, but also practitioners facilitating restorative processes (e.g. victim-offender mediators) and other professionals who participated in a restorative encounter. The purpose of the campaign is to bring to light experiences that can raise awareness about restorative justice through more accessible and personal information. For the collection of stories we ask the assistance of mediators and other professionals working in a restorative way with people who experienced harm. The collection period of the campaign runs between 4 May - 1 October (extended).
The campaign to collect personal stories starts on 4 May and ends on 1 October 2020. In this period the testimonials are written down by the participants or recorded by mediators of whom they are clients of.
Participants who gave consent to be interviewed or photographed will be contacted by the EFRJ Secretariat (in English) or, if needed, by a local EFRJ member (in their own language).
4. Assistance of mediators and other professionals
Recognising that respective cases are highly sensitive and affected individuals are typically very vulnerable, we seek the assistance of professionals handling these cases. They know the best their clients and their interests, and they know the best when and how to offer them the opportunity to participate in this campaign. We rely on our members in this campaign and also trust their experience to judge which of their clients can be consulted with this offer.
We also welcome accounts from professionals about their own experiences in remarkable restorative cases.
We are interested in any information an individual would like to share related to her/his experience of harm and the restorative process aiming to repair this harm or/and to make amends. These accounts should rely on the participating individual’s perspective and should give priority to their own narrative. People experience such situations very differently and account about them in varying ways. Different elements of the stories might be important to different people, and they might want to highlight different aspects of their experiences. These differences should be respected. However, we provide a few general questions that can help to focus participants’ testimonials:
- What was the harm you experienced / caused?
- How did you hear about restorative justice / conferencing / etc.?
- Why did you choose to take part in it?
- How did you feel/ what did you think just before the encounter?
- What happened during the restorative process?
- How did the restorative process affect you and your relation to the harm your experienced or caused?
- How much time passed since the encounter, what happened after and how are you since then?
- Would you recommend a restorative process for other affected people? Why?
We encourage to write down or to record stories in the native language of the participants. The EFRJ will find a translator within its membership. If the participants agree, the testimony can be disseminated by the EFRJ in original language as well.
9. The outcomes
The EFRJ plans to use the shared stories in the following ways (note: in the consent form, participants will be able to express if they prefer their story not to be shared in any of these formats/ settings):
- Publish the testimony/story in its entirety or partially on the EFRJ website and/or other publications (such as newsflashes, newsletters, information videos, brochures, handouts, policy papers, research summaries, thematic briefs, reports) or in public presentations (such as conferences or webinars).
- Publish podcasts and/or video-interviews on the EFRJ media channels (such as Vimeo).
- Publish and/or print photographs (e.g. as posters with short quotes added to the images or published along the photos).
- Print shorts quotes on materials used as gifts or to collect donations (e.g. t-shirts, notebooks).
The EFRJ reserves the right to publish only a selected number of stories and to shorten these accounts or to use only quotes from them. All participants will be contacted to give their final consent on how their story (i.e. text, quote, photo, video, etc.) will be used.
Deadline for submitting stories: 1 October 2020.
To submit a story, or for further details about the call and related questions please contact: Bálint Juhász, EFRJ Training and Communication Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
This call was illustrated by Lee Anderson's artwork created for the European Forum for Restorative Justice based on her experiences on our 10th International Conference in Tirana (2018).