Blame, shame, and community: Justice responses to violence against women

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Justice processing for crimes against women is reviewed. The data reveal conviction rates for partner violence and rape by known acquaintances are miniscule; mandatory arrest, protection orders, and diversion programs inadequately deter rebattering; few losses are compensated; and the adversarial justice process is retraumatizing, exacerbating survivor's self-blame. To better address crimes against women, several nations and tribal communities use communitarian approaches, forms of restorative justice. The offense is framed to include the perpetrator, victim, and community. The process forgoes incarceration to have family, peers, and advocates design perpetrator rehabilitation, victim restoration, and social reintegration of both victim and perpetrator. Evaluations suggest communitarian justice may increase victim satisfaction, raise the social costs of offending, multiply social control and support resources, and open a new avenue to targeted prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1332-1343
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2000
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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