Restorative Justice and Mental Health
Posted on: 12th, February 2024
Being involved in a crime can have a negative impact on an individual’s mental health. Some people find it beneficial to talk about the incident with the person who harmed them, or who they harmed.
For victims, Restorative Justice can reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression and PTSD after a crime takes place, helping them put the crime behind them. It also offers the opportunity for offenders to apologise, explain and make amends where possible.
One victim who participated in Restorative Justice described it as, “taking a big black cloud from over me and putting it over him.” Nick, a victim of assault, was left scared and experiencing low mood, fear, and anxiety following the incident. After talking with our trained practitioners, Nick said “being able to talk to you about this and be heard with no judgement was really therapeutic for me. I've felt better about it ever since”.
Restorative Justice can provide relief for offenders, too. Following an incident with the police, an offender met with a responding officer to apologise for his actions. The officer was surprised at how emotional she felt, stating she was shocked at how genuinely remorseful the offender was. The officer felt that the visit had helped the offender come to terms with his behaviour and given him the opportunity to apologise and explain what he had been going through at the time of the incident.
If your mental health has suffered following a crime and you think Restorative Justice is the right next step for you, please get in touch.