There are those who say that Restorative approaches should not be considered in cases of sexual violence . Two of our service users had a different response:
“I have known for years that I wanted the opportunity to sit down with my father and ask the questions that were important to me. Things that never got asked in court, that no one ever talked about and that some people around me told me I shouldn’t ask. Why? I needed the chance to know I’d asked the questions, had my say, even if I didn’t get any answers. Remedi supported me throughout all of that and took it all at a pace that suited me. A year later I finally sat down with my father in prison.
I felt safe, I felt strong and I felt like the one with the power for the first time in my life.
From the moment we left the prison, ask anyone that knows me, my life has been better. I feel like I’ve shifted a weight off my shoulders. I will never forget and I don’t think I will ever forgive but I know, for the first time really, that I will find it easier to move forward. I am no longer thinking about getting through today or tomorrow, I’m planning my future. I cant thank you enough”
Adele had been raped and assaulted by her father from the ages of 10 to 17. At 32 she was supported in meeting him in prison.
“I saw something about RJ on TV and asked my support worker about it. She told me it wasn’t for me and wasn’t suitable. That didn’t seem right to me so I got in touch with Remedi. They explained that it was possible but that it would be a long road with lots of preparation and that my expectations needed to be realistic. After lots of work with various organisations and professionals, all of which Remedi did and kept me informed about, I finally got the chance to take part in RJ with my offender. It was everything I thought it would be and more. I feel now that I started to get my life back. I’m just glad I didn’t accept the initial ‘no’. What gives anyone the right to make that decision for me? I had questions but more importantly I wanted the opportunity to make it clear that I would not allow him to ruin my life forever”
Alison was raped as she walked to her car after finishing work. She was supported in meeting the man who raped her 2 years after he was sentenced.