Source: (2004) Papers presented at the Third Conference of the European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice, 'Restorative Justice in Europe: Where are we heading?', Budapest, Hungary, 14-16 October. Downloaded 22 September 2005.
Introductory note. Domestic violence is the most widespread type of violence. According to anonymous interviews, at least one out of five women suffers abuse from a violent partner. Using the argument "no one has to interfere in private affairs" violent men try to protect themselves against external intervention.
Violence in intimate relationships is repetitive violence. The assaults will not be non-recurring incidents unless the perpetrator does something about it. In the history of nearly all cases we discovered a spiral of violence characterised by intervals between the violent incidents becoming shorter and shorter: After violent escalations the batterer regrets his action, feels sorry and apologises.
He promises that it will never happen again - until the next battering. The victims feel intimidated, confused, powerless and therefore are hardly able to crack this vicious circle without external help. The objective of mediation in cases of domestic violence is interrupting the spiral of violence in co-operation with other institutions and to protect women from future abuse. Mediation certainly cannot be the remedy, but the impulse to stop violence, to find a way out together.
Domestic violence and the traditional justice system. The traditional justice system responds to battering in an inadequate way, if we see it from the viewpoint of the victim's needs. (excerpt)
Published on: http://restorativejustice.org