Information for Victims

Restorative justice is a structured and safe environment for information to be exchanged between the people most affected by an offence – you and your supporters (i.e. your family and friends) and the offender and their supporters (i.e. their family and friends).

. Having family and significant others hear about and understand the impact of the offence is of great value to victims. Restorative justice processes can empower you to regain your confidence, optimism and sense of safety. It also provides you with information to help you understand the offence.

A convenor from the Restorative Justice Unit assists you and other participants. Restorative justice can happen either face-to-face or indirectly by third party mediation, taped recordings or letter exchanges. These exchanges are called conferences.

You and the other participants involved will decide on what type of conference will be best for everyone. Whichever method of conferences undertaken by the participants involved, it always addresses three fundamental questions: 

  • What happened?
  • How were people affected?
  • What needs to be done to make things better?

Restorative justice, particularly in the ACT, gives you a voice. It means that you are listened to and supported. You are given opportunities to engage with other significant people in your life to discuss how you have been affected by an offence. Restorative justice is a process that allows you to:

  • gain an understanding of the circumstances of the offence
  • have a voice in describing the impact of the offence, and
  • identify what needs to be done to make up for what has happened to you.

Participation is voluntary and you may withdraw your consent to participate at any time during your involvement.

Victims are encouraged to seek legal advice about participating in restorative justice.

For further information about what happens when a matter is referred to restorative justice see Restorative Justice Steps.