Avenues to Justice: Restorative & Transformative Justice for Sexual Violence
For too long, the criminal legal system has been a site of harm for survivors of sexual violence.
Now, many survivors of sexual violence are looking for alternative avenues to the existing forms of justice outside the traditional legal system. Restorative and transformative justice mechanisms provide unique opportunities for pursuing healing and justice. These models are being piloted in various forms across the country, both within and outside the legal system. However, there remain significant barriers to access to these processes, as well as a lack of public awareness and knowledge about these avenues.
LEAF’s Avenues to Justice Report highlights legal barriers to accessing these forms of justice. By speaking with lawyers, community practitioners, and campus experts, LEAF developed recommendations to advocate for a better system for all survivors of sexual violence, to ensure that each survivor can choose the path to justice that fits them best.
- Re-evaluation of moratoriums on using RJ/TJ in criminal sexual assault cases
- Increased and committed funding for RJ/TJ
- Increased funding to enhance Independent Legal Advice programs for survivors and the launch of similar programs in all provinces and territories
- Protections for participants and their disclosures in RJ/TJ processes
- Creation of a directory of service providers
- Public and specialized education about RJ/TJ
- Access to basic social supports for survivors
To learn more, read the Avenues to Justice Summary and Recommendations.
The Avenues to Justice report was authored by Tamera Burnett and Mandi Gray with support from Ruchika Gothoskar. The project was supported by LEAF staff lawyers Cee Strauss and Roxana Parsa. Sharon Lim also provided research assistance. LEAF communications & advocacy staff Annie Ding and Jen Gammad provided communications and design support.
LEAF would like to thank all the members of the expert advisory panel who helped shape the project methodology, analysis, and recommendations. The expert advisory panel included: Karen Bellehumeur, Nadia Noor, Charlotte Hunter LK, Victor Salmon, James Dubé and Dalya Israel.
The Avenues to Justice Project was generously funded by the Canadian Bar Law for the Future Fund and the Department of Justice Canada.