Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht

Article

Keuzevrijheid in herstelbemiddeling

Een verkennend onderzoek naar niet-deelnemende slachtoffers

Trefwoorden restorative justice, mediation, victim-offender contact, Victims, victim support
Auteurs Dana Weistra
Auteursinformatie

304808 Dana Weistra
Dana Weistra is sinds 2014 werkzaam als onderzoeker en beleidsmedewerker bij Slachtofferhulp Nederland. In het verleden studeerde ze cum laude af op het onderwerp herstelbemiddeling in relatie tot partnergeweld en schreef hier een publicatie over. Daarnaast liep zij stage bij het International Victimology Institute Tilburg (INTERVICT) op het project Mediation in het strafrecht.
  • Samenvatting

      In the field of restorative justice (RJ), relatively much is known about victims’ reasons for wanting to participate in either mediation (as part of the criminal process) or victim-offender contact (parallel to the criminal process). Much less is known, however, about why victims refuse to take part in RJ services. The current article sheds light on this issue and is based on a joint exploratory research initiative by Victim in Focus and Victim Support the Netherlands. The results indicate that participation in mediation and victim-offender contact is significantly associated with the type of offense. Victims of traffic accidents participate significantly less often in mediation than victims of other offenses. In case of victim-offender contact, victims of violent crimes participate significantly less often while victims of traffic accidents participate more often than victims of other crimes. In addition, the referrer of the case and the victim’s age are also significantly associated with participation in victim-offender contact. When a case was referred through the judicial stakeholders, victims more often did not participate, whereas when victims registered themselves, it more often led to a form of victim-offender contact. With regard to age, victims younger than 25 were significantly less often willing to participate than older victims. The specific reasons victims mention for not wanting to participate in RJ are twofold: both emotional and pragmatic reasons are mentioned. The latter were most common with regard to both mediation and victim-offender contact: victims primarily wonder ‘what’s in it for me?’ and seem to base their decision on whether to partake in RJ on its answer. Mentioning emotional reasons not to participate was in case of victim-offender contact significantly associated with judicial referrers of the case, while such reasons were less mentioned when a case was referred through victim support in The Netherlands. To further explore these associations, more research is needed.

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