Though well-intentioned, policies and practices regarding sexual offending that are advocated by lawmakers and their constituents all too often result in efforts that are counterproductive for the long-term safety of the community. Just as problematically, they fail to adequately take into account the needs of the victims of abuse and do not adequately promote actions that can help individuals who have abused avoid re-offending.
Countless survivors of sexual harm and violence never contact any professional services or law enforcement mechanisms. This doesn’t mean these survivors are not yearning for healing for themselves and accountability for their abusers; rather, it is often the fear of the collateral consequences on their families and communities that keeps them silent. sujatha baliga (sujatha spells her name uncapitalized) believes restorative justice can meet these hidden needs at the family and community level, without reliance on systems of punishment.
Donna began her healing journey from the trauma of childhood incest when she was in her early thirties. Along that journey, she has embraced many healing therapies and artistic expressions as well as built a family of choice to make her life worth living. While she has written a book as well as a play and produced a documentary about her experiences, she now helps numerous other activities to assist survivors. In this webinar, she will briefly discuss her healing. She will next offer ideas for working with survivors based on her current activities and programs.
This conversation focuses on how people can survive and thrive in the current environment. It explores what we can learn from restorative justice to help people recover their lives in the wake of sexual abuse.
A basic tenet of Restorative Justice is that those affected by abuse should be able to participate in its resolution. Through the approaches Dr. Ackerman embodies, people who have been abused can experience connection and hope.