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Restorative Justice and Violence Against Women$
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James Ptacek

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195335484

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335484.001.0001

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Restorative Justice for Domestic and Family Violence

Restorative Justice for Domestic and Family Violence

Hopes and Fears of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australian Women

(p.123) 6 Restorative Justice for Domestic and Family Violence
Restorative Justice and Violence Against Women

Heather Nancarrow

Oxford University Press

In 2000, recommendations from two Australian taskforce investigations highlighted opposing views, seemingly reflecting a racial divide, on the utility of restorative justice as a response to domestic violence. Drawing on the literature and semi-structured interviews with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian women, this chapter explores this apparent racial divide and seeks to explain the incongruence in the taskforce recommendations. The analysis finds the incongruence is centered on the symbolic meaning each group of women attributes to the role of the state, embodied in the criminal justice system, and differing justice objectives. While the non-Indigenous women fear that restorative justice will reinforce the dominant male paradigm, the Indigenous women are hopeful that it can overcome the limitations of the criminal justice system in achieving both gender and racial equality, though this is contingent on elements that do not exist in current restorative justice models.

Keywords:   feminism, restorative justice, criminal justice, domestic violence, family violence, racism, indigenous women, Australia

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