We are pleased to announce the receipt of a new grant from the European Union to carry out the  two year project Restorative justice in cases of domestic violence: Best practice examples between increasing mutual understanding and awareness of specific protection needs”.

The project is due to start in February 2014 and will be carried out as part of a consortium of 7 European Organisations under the lead of the Verwey-Jonker Institute (Netherlands). The project aims to break the circle of victimization for victims of Domestic Violence. It will aim to develop an understanding of how restorative justice can be implemented in cases of domestic violence in the best interest of the victims.

Dr. Theo Gavrielides, IARS Director said: “This project could not be more timely. The Victims Directive and our current Restorative Justice in Europe project will inform our approach to this new project which is finally recognising the hidden dimensions of domestic violence and abuse. Restorative justice has potential to provide alternatives but we need to understand the complexities surounding it. This can only be done through pilots and by involving victims directly”.

The EC Directive on Minimum Standards of Victims (2012), asks that victims must have access to safe and competent restorative justice services. The applications of restorative justice in certain cases is prohibited or remains a taboo and opinions are still divided. Victims of domestic violence are not even given the opportunity to decide how their case should be treated.

This timely project is coming to bridge this legislatory gap by bringing evidence into fore that can be used by policy makers and practitioners to strengthen the application of Restorative Justice in cases of domestic violence. Building on the existing literature and practices the project will seek to address risk points for victims and establish best practice in cases of domestic violence in the context of diverse judicial systems across member states.

Dr. Annemieke Wolthuis, Verwey-Jonker Institute said:  “We at the Verwey-Jonker Institute in the Netherlands are very happy to start working together with IARS and other European partners to further explore the possibilities and loopholes of the use of restorative justice in domestic violence cases. Different methods and regulations are used and different protection measures are in place, of which some have proven to be very successful and others less so. What can we learn by looking at these aspects in more depth and by sharing our expertise? What joint standards can be drawn that improve the practice?”

Partners including the Institut für Konfliktforschung (IKF) (Austria), the European Public Law Organization (EPLO), the Landsorganisationen for Kvindekrisecentre LOKK (the national organization of women’s shelters, (Denmark),  the Department of Criminal Policy, of the Ministry of Justice (Finland)  and the European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ)  will work together under the lead of the Verwey-Jonker Institute and will bring different perspectives and experiences from their countries into the project.  An establishment of a professional network will be also pursued to further increase understanding on the application of Restorative Justice on cases of Domestic Violence, and share knowledge and best practices across member states.

The project will build on Gavrielides’ research on domestic violence and restorative justice including his research report “Restorative Justice & Violence Against Women: Comparing Greece and the United Kingdom”. Further here 

To find out more contact the UK Project Leader Professor Theo Gavrielides.


Notes to Editors

Contact: Andriana Ntziadima – IARS Promotions & Resources Manager |a.ntziadima@iars.org.uk|02078200945|07833224442|

About IARS

IARS is a UK-based leading, international think-tank with a charitable mission to give everyone a chance to forge a safer, fairer and more inclusive society. We achieve our charitable aims by producing evidence-based solutions to current social problems, sharing best practice and by supporting young people and the community to shape decision making. IARS is an international expert in criminal justice, restorative justice, human rights and inclusion citizenship, public service and user-led research. To find out more about IARS please follow the link www.iars.org.uk

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