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Introduction

Restorative practice offers an approach that brings together individuals, families, social networks, services and government, through informal and informal processes, to proactively build relationships to resolve or prevent conflict and wrongdoing.  It can also unite theory, research and practice in diverse fields such as education, health, criminal justice, regulation, social welfare and organisational management.  The fundamental premise of restorative practice is that people are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes when those in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them.

Restorative justice is a subset of restorative practice that provides an alternative to punitive responses to crime.  Inspired by indigenous traditions, it brings together persons harmed with persons responsible for harm in a safe and respectful space, promoting dialogue, accountability, the building of relationships and a stronger sense of community.

In a previous survey in 2015, Relationships Australia explored restorative practice in relation to family violence.  Interestingly, when asked about the importance of a range of factors to the needs of victims of family violence, respondents to the online survey were more likely to report that family and psychological support were more important to meeting the needs of victims of family violence than the perpetrator making amends for the crime or being punished, the perpetrator apologising to the victim or financial compensation.

In September 2017, Relationships Australia’s online survey sought to further understand the community’s views of restorative principles by posing a few questions to visitors to our website.

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites