A victim of incest finally felt ” free “, at age 58, after having exchanged with the attackers behind bars during a restorative justice process.
“I called Julie Ann Carpini. Yes, I was a victim of incest, and I don’t have to be ashamed of, it was not my fault, ” she said from the outset, during our interview, in a loud voice.
However, Ms. Carpini has not always been able to put words to the sexual violence she suffered during her childhood, as well as at other times in his life. This “silence is toxic” has long prevented free from its injuries.
Today, she is said to be ” healing “, in particular through meetings with men who have committed a crime akin to those which she was the victim, held by the Centre for services in restorative justice, based in Montreal.
A turning point
It is in 2016 that Julie Ann Carpini has heard of the concept of restorative justice for the first time, through a speaker of a help Center and de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel (CALACS).
This approach to justice is based on dialogue and seeks not to punish, but to repair. The sexual assault victim was open to the idea, especially that she had been too afraid to drag his father (now deceased) in front of the courts.
In the months that followed, Julie Ann Carpini made the acquaintance of a father incest, who is serving a prison sentence. She was accompanied by two facilitators and one person from the community during the process.
For a rare time, the severity of the actions that she has suffered is acknowledged. This was a huge relief to her.
“To meet someone who is able to confess his crimes and take responsibility and say to someone” This is not your fault “… it’s been really good, ” she confesses, accustomed to the denial of guilt of her attackers.
She has also participated in a series of meetings held-victims “, which includes three prisoners from three victims, two members of the community and as facilitators.
“These meetings-there have shown me that there are people who have done horrendous crimes, and who realize that what they have done is really wrong,” she says, touched by the honesty and openness of some of the detainees.
Little by little, she overcame her fears. Fears of experiencing further attacks, retaliation, of being ‘taken for a madwoman,” or even to have deserved all this violence. “I was really released,” she said.
At a time when many victims are turning to social media to reveal their assault, restorative justice represents an alternative.
Without denying the traditional justice system, Julie Ann Carpini emphasizes the importance of the need of victims to be validated, that the court sentence to fill in several cases.
“We can become really angry and bitter. […] Me, I chose another way, but it is according to where each is made in its journey, ” she concludes.
Another option to get a repair
The courts and social media – where the denunciations are multiplying recently, are not the only option for victims who seek redress.
The process of restorative justice is an avenue that needs to be known more, according to experts.
“The goal is to find a means of healing, soothing, repair, and mitigation of the consequences, through various means,” says Mylène Jaccoud, professor of social sciences at the University of Montreal.
This alternative justice can respond in part to the failures of the justice system, she adds.
An opinion shared by William Henriques, a lawyer, mediator and a director of the Centre for services in restorative justice.
This last has found that it sometimes happens that the judicial system does not correspond to the needs of victims, particularly in cases of sexual assault
“I have the impression that this is not a forum that promotes dialogue and mutual understanding,” he says. You enter in the room [of the hearing], and there are two camps. “
Listen to the other
In addition, a defendant called upon to defend themselves or to plead guilty before a court is not in a mental space that allows you to listen to his victim, stresses Me Henriques, while several of them are in search of validation.
In contrast, restorative justice is based on meetings, where all are invited to express themselves quite freely.
Me Henriques, who attended meetings held-victims, ” notes the courage of the victims, but also the inmates who take part in them voluntarily.
“Confront the impact of his actions and actually be able to listen to the victim, it is a wicked shovel in the face “, illustrates there.
Julie Ann Carpini, who has made the call for restorative justice, recommends the process to other victims of sexual assault provided that they feel ready.
“When I see more young people start a journey of healing, I am so happy “, she says.
That their abuser is spent in front of a court or not, the victims of sexual abuse may come in contact with the Center of restorative justice services 1 833 320-2757.