A Manslaughter: Restorative Justice Case Study
We received a referral from a Victim Liaison Officer who was working on a manslaughter case. She contacted the family, whose daughter had been killed by her ex-partner, as his license was due to end.
The grandmother advised them that her granddaughter (aged 11) wished to meet the man who had killed her mother and the referral was made to our service. The team met with the girl and both her grandparents, recognising the additional risks presented by the age of the victim and previous relationships of those involved.
The grandparents participated in the preparation process to support their granddaughter but initially, they could not see how they would benefit from meeting the harmer themselves. They supported their granddaughter’s decision as they lived in a small community and felt that the possibility of them seeing each other was likely.
They understood that she had unanswered questions as her memories from the incident had blurred over time. She was just 7 at the time of the incident and the harmer was the only other person there who was able to answer her questions about what happened. The victim had been affected in a number of ways and had suffered from nightmares after the offense.
As extensive preparation work was completed with the victim and her grandparents, their own needs became evident and they made the decision that they also wanted to participate in the process, rather than just as a support for their granddaughter.
We followed up 6 months after the conference and the victims have reported feeling better for engaging in Restorative Justice. The victim’s grandfather has seen the harmer since the conference and reported that there was no issue or uncomfortable feelings, which has helped, as they are likely to see each other locally again.