The Use of Restorative Justice in Family Violence: The New Zealand Experience
This chapter contributes to the ongoing debate about the potential of restorative justice processes to deal with conflicts within families by presenting the findings of some New Zealand research (Kingi et al. 2008). The aim of this research1 was to review the delivery of restorative justice processes in family violence and to describe the experience of and outcomes for victims and perpetrators who participated. By asking perpetrators about family violence, it is possible to assess the extent to which they recognize the harm caused by their actions and whether or not they are committed to changing their behaviours as a result of the restorative justice process. Seeking the views of victims, on the other hand, enables us to gauge whether or not they perceived that changes had actually happened. The research involved interviewing 19 victims and 19 perpetrators who had taken part in face-to-face restorative justice processes delivered by community providers at five New Zealand sites2 during the period January 2005 to June 2006. Eleven of the victims and perpetrators were involved in the same incident and so comparisons can be made between their respective perspectives.