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06.57 1 Dec 2014


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A report today is highlighting how restorative justice could help victims of sex crime in Ireland.

Less than one in ten cases ever reach the criminal justice system, and the majority of complaints that are made are later withdrawn.

This report was commissioned by Facing Forward, which is a voluntary restorative justice organisation.

A UCD expert and counselling psychologist worked together on the study - interviewing 149 people including sex crime victims, offenders, their families, judges and gardaí.

It also reviews literature from around the world, and finds that a restorative system could be another way for victims to get justice for what happened to them.

The aim would be to have a programme which would support the needs of all the parties involved.

Principal investigator Dr Marie Keenan from UCD says offenders must be listened to, in order to know what they think about their victims.

“Anyone who wants to know how best to respond in justice to victims of sexual crime must listen to their own words," she said.

"Anyone who wants to know what offenders think about their victims and how they feel in the aftermath of sexual crime must listen to their words. Both speak about what is required to repair the harm done to the victim. Both are presented in this report," she added.


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