Sequencing Justice:how women think about restorative and retributive justice after violence

Stream: Questions of Justice in Cases of Gender-based Violence
Date: Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Time: 3.15 pm – 5.00 pm


This exploratory research discusses the multiple goals that women as victims of domestic violence express for justice. Women are revealed as having different objectives for justice and that these are directed to three domain – to the victim, the offender and the community. To each goal women then add specific aims or desires. For this research women who reported domestic violence to police were interviewed when a criminal charge was laid against an offender, on a second occasion when the case had finalised at court, and a third and final time some 6 to 8 months afterwards. The longitudinal prospective method tracked along the justice process and shows that women’s goals for justice unfold over time. The method also allowed space for women to articulate the type of process they would like to resolve the case when they were looking forward and also when they were looking back. Women wanted accountability first and the possibility of a dialogic encounter that may be restorative after that. The either/or debate about justice may be resolved through sequencing justice goals.


Robyn Holder (Presenter), Griffith Uni
Dr Robyn Holder is a Research Fellow at Griffith University. Her most recent research dealt with violence against Syrian women in Iraqi Kurdistan. In 2013-14 she was also part of teams examining access to justice for women in The Philippines and justice responses to violence against Aboriginal women in the Northern Territory (Australia). Dr Holder has nearly 30 years’ experience in research, public policy and law reform in Australia and the UK. She is a specialist in the research-policy nexus, and in system reform.