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. 

Let’s see how Restorative Justice can help you

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Or call us on 0800 043 8785

Case Studies

A Burglary In Southampton

"When the police told me about Restorative Justice, I was interested straight away and they referred me to the Restorative Justice service.

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A Residential Burglary on the Isle of Wight

Three offenders entered a residential property on the Isle of Wight on numerous occasions during the evening and early morning, searched rooms, and stole property.

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Assault Resulting in ABH

A male had intervened to prevent a domestic assault, and had himself been badly assaulted by the offender, causing ABH injuries.

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Conspiracy to Burgle

This case was referred to our service via the Officer In Charge as the harmer had contacted him wishing to try to apologise to the harmed.

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Indirect Restorative Justice Following Sexual Assault

A victim’s father-in-law sexually assaulted her during a family event.

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Injury By Dangerous Driving

The offender, Sam*, had committed the offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

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Neighbours' Dispute

A neighbours’ dispute had been occurring between John*, who owned a house adjoining a public right of way, and Frank*, who was the son of the owner of a plot of land opposite John’s house, for many years.

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Non-Recent Child Sexual Abuse

The offences against Joshua were of a sexual nature and were committed in the 1980s, when Joshua was aged between 10 and 15 years old.

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Residential Burglaries in Hampshire

Watch this video about how Restorative Justice brought peace to a burglary victim.

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Restorative Conversation Following Theft

A restorative conversation took place with a victim following the theft of her pushchair, which was locked with a chain in the hallway of flats.

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Road Rage Assault

The victim had been tailgated by the harmer, who then assaulted him after indicating for the victim to pull into a lay-by.

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Rosalyn's Story

Rosalyn shares her experience of Restorative Justice.

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Theft From An Elderly Couple

An older couple were being looked after by their cousin, who stole over £7,000 from them.

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Threat of Assault

An offender threatened a victim with a baseball bat outside his home.

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Transphobic Comments

A victim received messages via Snapchat that were transphobic in nature and caused distress.

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What People Say About Restorative Justice

The facilitators have been wonderful. I feel stronger than I did. I would really recommend Restorative Justice.

Debbie, victim

I hope that she would understand that I know what I’ve done was wrong and I’ve learnt from my actions.

Ryan, offender

I had my opportunity to discuss the incident and also to meet the offender in person.

Leighton, victim