SSP15: A Conversation with Dr. Alissa Ackerman about Vicarious Restorative Justice with Sexual Abusers

Dr. Alissa Ackerman-Acklin is a sex crimes policy researcher at California State University, Fullerton. As a survivor of sexual violence herself, Alissa uses her personal experience and her professional expertise to bridge connections between individuals who have experienced sexual victimization and individuals who have perpetrated it.

In this episode, Dr. Ackerman:

  • Explains the concept of restorative justice (RJ), a framework that brings together people who have caused harm with people who have been harmed.
  • Talks about the use of RJ worldwide to address societal harms (e.g., apartheid in South Africa), its recent introduction in the U.S. as an alternative to incarceration for low-level crimes, and her proposed framework for its use in cases of sexual abuse.
  • Describes vicarious restorative justice (VRJ), a practice that allows individuals who have experienced sexual harm to sit face to face with individuals who have perpetrated it.

Be sure to leave us your comments/questions on this podcast episode!

Related SSP Material: Healing from Sexual Violence: The Case for Vicarious Restorative Justice

You can also listen to Dr. Alissa-Acklin in Safer Society Press Podcast 12 & 13:  
SSP12 (Part 1 of 2): Panel Discussion of the #MeToo Movement

Comments 1

  1. I’m a 56 year old male that was drugged and raped when I was 26 years old by my boss at the time. Male boss. I was also sexually abused when I was 6 years old by our live in gardener. These crimes where never reported. I have never been able to even talk about these events in my life until recently. These event in my 20’s occurred in Palm Springs and the other in our home in Del Mar, California. I don’t know what I want. The PTSD I have now is terrible. It’s worse I think because of the dual events from my childhood and again in my 20’s. A time when I should have been able to protect myself. I’ve always felt there’s not a corner in the universe far enough away that I can hide from this.

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