Sexual Assault, Restorative Justice and the #MeToo Movement

In October 2017 women around the world started using the hashtag #MeToo in social media to identify themselves as victims of sexual assault. The present study examines “the day after” the campaign, and proposes that it be viewed as a platform for expressing dissatisfaction with the way society and the legal system deals with sexual assault. It examines how the outcry of millions of women around the world can be channeled towards developing alternative ways for dealing with sexual assault, focusing on restorative justice (RJ) as an option which can expand the range of possible responses and increase victims’ access to justice.
The study also empirically examined the public’s attitudes towards the #MeToo campaign and participation in RJ processes in sexual assault cases. The findings show a positive correlation between support for the campaign and support for RJ process.
RJ processes can be an empowering experience that reduces the intensity of the victim’s trauma. This experience will most likely lead to an increase in the number of reported assaults, and to increased public awareness concerning sexual assault. Moreover, participation in RJ processes has an educational effect that can reduce and prevent future assaults when participants in the process develop empathy towards other participants and learn about the unique of sexual assault.

verwandte Schlüsselbegriffe

Restorative Justice