Why Me? Victims for Restorative Justice, a national charity based in Southwark which supports victims of crime, has been awarded a grant of £57,000 from the Trust. This funding will be used to raise awareness of their services to increase restorative justice for LGBTQ victims of hate crime allowing them to meet with their offenders to help with recovery.
Restorative justice is a victim focussed response following a conviction where the perpetrator and victim meet under carefully managed conditions. The process is voluntary and gives victims the chance to meet and communicate with their offenders to explain the real impact of the crime.
The charity’s project will convene and facilitate meetings with the survivors of hate crime from the LGBTQ community in London and their offenders.
It will also increase knowledge and skills raise awareness of this form of justice by working in the criminal justice sector with police, probation officers and victim support groups.
The charity aims for survivors of hate crime from the LGBTQ community to be made aware of their right to ask to meet their perpetrator and know how such a form of justice may help their recovery through finding their voice and talking about the impact of the harm in a safe and structured process and space.
Alison Gowman, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:
“It’s clear from the many stories of those that have been through restorative justice that it has many benefits and can be a really effective aid in the recovery process for survivors of crime.
“This charity has vast experience in this sector and is in the best position to carry out this London project, which will offer an option to some that not all know exists.
“Tackling disadvantage across the capital is essential to make London a fairer and better place to live.”
Director of Why Me?, Lucy Jaffe, said:
“The City Bridge Trust grant to Why me? over the next two years will enable us to understand more about how to tackle the impact of hate crime against LGBTQ+ people in London through restorative approaches.
“At a time when hate crime has sharply risen and the criminal justice system is struggling to deal with the impact, restorative justice is a quietly radical and effective means of addressing these issues.
“We will be seeking to work in partnership with equality organisations operating in London to spread awareness and understanding of restorative justice and to trial and learn about practical ways that restorative approaches can work to support LGBTQ+ victims of hate crime.”
Why me? is a national organisation which aims to obtain the right for victims of all crimes to have access to restorative justice. The charity campaigns for policy and legislative change, communicates with and about victims of crime and their experiences of restorative justice and delivers a restorative justice service nationwide.