Gender-based violence is a phenomenon deeply rooted in gender inequality, and continues to be one of the most notable human rights violations within all societies. Physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life are some examples.

Gender-based violence often occurs within a relational context and it strengthens discourses and dynamics that criminal justice system fails to take into consideration as well as the overall experience of the parties involved. Also, only a few cases of gender-based violence are reported to the authorities and even less reach the criminal justice system as a large number of victims prefer to keep private about the situation. This is why more awareness-raising initiatives and alternative justice engagement and support are needed.

EFRJ recognises and respects the concerns that many people have over restorative responses to gender-based violence. There are real risks of victimisation due to imbalances of power and control. Such violence is often deeply traumatic for the victim. This working group will be responsible for addressing these challenges and developing models of restorative justice, which are safe, anti- oppressive and effective.

Red shoe in a parking lot

In practice, this working group...

  • Produces a short document explaining the potential contribution of restorative justice in this domain;
  • Works together to develop a specific training of the EFRJ;
  • Supports and encourages research on the potential application of restorative justice related to gender-based violence;
  • Commits to regular virtual meetings and exchange of emails
  • Can be consulted on this topic by EFRJ staff and members.
  • Initiate project proposals on the topic

Members (2020-2022)

  • Bonini Valentina (Italy), Associated professor, University of Pisa - Department of Law
  • Cochrane Gael (UK), Learning, Development and Innovation Lead, Community Justice Scotland
  • Franck  Pascale (Belgium), Vice-president, European Family Justice Center Alliance
  • Haarländer Andrea (Germany), Social Worker and VOM Facilitator, Verein für Jugendhilfe und Soziales Pinneberg e.V.
  • Halonen Anna (Finland), Mediation adviser / deputy manager, Pirkanmaa Mediation office
  • Keenan Marie (Ireland), Associate Professor, University College Dublin and Independent Practice
  • Martin  David (USA), Senior Deputy Prosecutor, Unit Chair, Domestic Violence Unit, King County Prosecutor
  • Micoulet Noémie (France), French Institute for Restorative Justice (IFJR)
  • Millington Linda (UK), RJ Service Manager, Why me?
  • Stouraiti Alexia (Greece), mediator and psychodramatist and trainer in restorative circles
  • Zinsstag Estelle  (UK), Assistant Professor, Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford

Representative of the Board: Petra Masopust Šachová (Czech Republic) and Tim Chapman (UK)

Representative of the SecretariatEmanuela Biffi ( and Laura Hein (

Position paper on restorative justice and gender based violence

In May 2021, the EFRJ Working Group on Gender Based Violence participated in the European Commission open consultation on “Combating gender-based violence – protecting victims and punishing offenders”. The Working Group submitted a position paper mainly concerning restorative justice and the Istanbul Convention.

Photo credits: "Red Shoes / Sapatinhos vermelhos" by lilivanili , "Red Shoe Parking Lot" by Kamal Hamid and "Zapatos Rojos contra violencias machistas Zgz Foto Pablo Ibáñez" by Arainfo on

Red shoes installation

Why the red shoes?

In 2009, Mexican visual artist Elina Chauvet staged her first art installation of red shoes in which she denounced violence against women, femicide, domestic and sexualized violence. This installation inspired activists and survivors around the world in collective actions, wearing and sharing photographs of their red shoes. Chauvet took action after the death of her sister, murdered by her husband. The red color represents blood and love, according to the artist. Virtual red shoes exhibitions can be retrieved on social media with #ZapatosRojos #RedShoes.