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Sexual violence and restorative practices in Belgium, Ireland and Norway: a thematic analysis of country variations

Keenan, Marie; Zinsstag, Estelle; O'Nolan, Caroline


Marie Keenan

Caroline O'Nolan


The article compares and contrasts the provision of some restorative practices in cases of sexual violence in three European countries: Belgium, Ireland and Norway. It begins by briefly outlining efforts to address the ‘justice gap’ experienced by victims of sexual violence within conventional justice systems. The article points to calls for the development of alternative or complementary innovative justice responses to sexual violence. It suggests that restorative justice advocates believe they can deliver a participatory, empowering and flexible form of restorative justice, which can run in tandem with conventional criminal justice processes. However, it is noted that the application of restorative approaches to cases of sexual violence has engendered some controversy. The article points to considerable inter-country divergence in the extent to which restorative justice is accessible to victims of sexual crimes and to the emergence of country-specific patterns in the provision of restorative justice in cases of sexual violence.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Mar 24, 2016
Publication Date 2016
Deposit Date Jul 8, 2022
Journal Restorative Justice: an International Justice
Print ISSN 2050-473X
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 1
Pages 86-114
Keywords sexual violence; restorative justice; Belgium; Ireland; Norway
Public URL