TRANSFORMATIVE JUSTICE

Between December 2020 and July 2021 we ran a Transformative Justice process in response to sexual violence which had been committed in our community. This took the form of weekly facilitated sessions with the perpetrator to address the harm that had been done and continued to ripple through the community - as well as making space to begin unpacking the deep personal and systemic patterns which are perpetuated by growing up in a violent patriarchal culture.

 

In parallel to this we held sessions around survivor support and built community FINT and MINT (Female/Male, Intersex, Non-Binary & Trans) circles to ensure the whole community was part of the healing and learning process. Weaving all of this together was really challenging and we cannot say we succeeded as much as we'd have liked all the time but we believe its essential that the whole community is involved.

 

That said, we did often create a very transformative space even while having to do a massive amount of learning as we went along. Luckily we found great guidance in the resources and wisdom of the people who have done this work long before us for who we have huge gratitude. 

We won't try and explain here the ins and outs of the whole process as it was a huge amount of work and there is a certain level of confidentiality around it that makes it hard to publically share - however, we invite you to check out lots of the resources which we used below - and if you would like to learn more about what we did, are running your own process, wanna talk about how to embed this work more deeply in the UK youth activist community, or would like to chat Transformative Justice with us for any other reason...

...then please reach out through our contact form or at radicalrestart@gmail.com!

What is Transformative Justice? 

Transformative Justice is an abolitionist framework of justice and responding to harm which rejects the underlying logic of the punishment-based justice most prevalent in our society. Transformative Justice seeks to provide people who experience violence with immediate safety and long-term healing and reparations while holding people who commit violence accountable within and by their communities.  This accountability includes stopping immediate abuse, making a commitment to not engage in future abuse, and offering reparations for past abuse. Such accountability requires on-going support and transformative healing for people who sexually abuse. It also seeks to address harm in a way which also acknowledges that individual acts of harm also have collective impacts and origins and therefore require collective responses - integrating personal and social transformation.

 

Transformative Justice is based on three core beliefs: (source: Toward Transformative Justice - Generation 5)

  • Individual justice and collective liberation are equally important, mutually supportive, and fundamentally intertwined—the achievement of one is impossible without the achievement of the other.

  • The conditions that allow violence to occur must be transformed in order to achieve justice in individual instances of violence.  Therefore, Transformative Justice is both a liberating politic and an approach for securing justice.

  • State and systemic responses to violence, including the criminal legal system and child welfare agencies, not only fail to advance individual and collective justice but also condone and perpetuate cycles of violence.

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Resources 

Throughout this process we came across and collected lots of really powerful resources on the topic of Transformative Justice and community accountability - but also more generally on consent, Patriarchy, violence and sex. We've put them together here so they are easy to refer back to and share around, we hope this can be useful!

Note - We're not claiming that this at all a definitive list of resources on TJ. Most resources collected here are written from a US perspective, and also often come from the anarchist or punk scenes. This is because we based a lot of our work on Support New York which emerged from that context. We are aware that this is not were ideas and practices of TJ originated from and also not the only space in which this vision is germinating today. we're sure that there are many great resources out there which we have not included here because we have not come across them yet, if you have any resources that you would like to share then please send them to us at radicalrestart@gmail.com :)

General Guides/Toolkits 

Perpetrator Accountability

Survivor Support

Other Collections of Resources

Resources we used in the process

These are the resource which we directly drew from and used as the basis of our discussions and learning in the perpetrator accountability process

Accountability

Patriarchy and Violence

Consent

Other

  • Embodied Phsycotherapy Somatic Resources - some ideas for somatic exercises which help build awareness and feeling in the body

  • The Secret Joy of Accountability by Shannon Perez-Darby - article discussing the problems with rushing into creating community accountability structures, and the importance of making space for complexity rather than falling into simplified binary ideas of survivor and abuser.