Justice Options for Women who are Victims of Violence May 2000 – August 2001
It was determined by the project Steering Committee that to focus first on restorative justice would be premature, since women continue to be victimized by current justice options. For this reason, Phase 1 of the project focussed on all justice options for women who are victims of violence. An interest-based process was used to assist all players to better understand the needs and concerns of others and to make recommendations based on meeting those needs.
Project Goals and Objectives
To ensure that justice options do not revictimize women who are victims of violence by providing opportunities for victims, victim advocates and community have a voice in justice policy.
The objectives of the Project were:
- to provide opportunities for women who are victims of violence and their advocates to identify needs and issues in relation to justice and the development of justice options such as restorative approaches;
- to provide an opportunity for women victims of violence, victim advocates and community to be a part of the decision-making process regarding restorative justice policy by using a Gender-Based Policy Analysis;
- to raise awareness in the community and in the justice system about violence against women and issues of re-victimization of victims in justice processes such as restorative approaches;
- to provide women victims of violence with information with which to make informed choices about justice options
Focus Groups and Workshops
To provide opportunities for women and their advocates to identify needs and issues in relation to justice, focus groups and interviews with women and victim advocates were held across the Island and a summary of what women told us was compiled.
As well, a focus group with community advocacy organizations was held and a Reference Group made up of representatives of justice staff, community organizations and survivors of violence met several times to identify their needs, concerns and ideas in relation to justice options for women who are victims of violence.
In April, 2001, a workshop bringing together justice staff, community organizations and survivors of violence was held to provide an opportunity for women victims of violence, victim advocates and women's equality seeking groups to work with justice system staff to discuss issues of re-victimization through justice processes and to develop an approach to ensure justice options do not revictimize women.
Information for Women Victims of Violence
The putting together of a brochure with information about justice options for women who are victims of violence to help women and their advocates to make informed choices about justice options in Prince Edward Island was begun in collaboration with Community Legal Information Association. This work was continued as we moved the project into phase 2.
Develop a Framework for Improving Justice for Women Who Are Victims of Violence
As a result of the focus groups, interviews and workshops, a framework for improving justice options for women who are victims of violence was created and distributed to project participants and policy makers.