In The Little Book of Restorative Justice, Howard Zehr notes that victims needs for such things as information, vindication, restitution, and empowerment may not be fully met through the mainstream justice system. Mounting research demonstrates that many who participate in Restorative Justice (RJ) feel their needs were met, including victims who found that RJ offered them answers, a voice, and a chance to participate meaningfully in a justice response to their victimization.

Our project builds upon a previous symposium (Working with Trauma, 2013) and gathering (Restorative Justice Listening Project, 2017), both in Greater Vancouver, that involved RJ and Victim Services (VS) practitioners in BC coming together to share, listen, and brainstorm about working together to support victims. We want to continue the conversation, critical thinking, and skill-building around victim-sensitive practice and RJ application.

This course has four modules, which we anticipate taking you approximately one hour to complete each. You can go at your own pace and do not need to complete them all at once. 

A Note About Language

People typically do not like to be labelled, and often the terms "victim" and "offender" can make those on the receiving end feel uncomfortable. At Restorative Justice Victoria, we use the terms "affected party" and "responsible party." We encourage you to have a discussion within your organization about the importance and impact of language. In this course however, because they are the terms with which most are familiar, and are the terms used in our criminal justice system, we use the terms "victim" and "offender."

Funding Acknowledgement

We would like to thank the Government of Canada whose funding enabled the development and delivery of this on-line course and the accompanying 2018 in-person training. This online course was designed by Shanna Grant-Warmald, Alan Edwards, and Jessica Rourke. Please direct any questions to us at office@rjvictoria.com 


Module Overview

  • 1

    Course Introduction

    • Important Course Information

    • Welcome

    • A Little About You Before We Start...

  • 2

    Module 1: Introduction to Victim Services

    • Overview of Module 1

    • Topic 1: History of Victim Services and Rights in British Columbia

    • Topic 2: Current Day Victim Services

    • Topic 3: Victim Services Practitioners

    • Topic 4: Relevant Legislation

    • Module 1 Conclusion

    • Module 1 Discussion

    • Further Reading and Resources

    • Module 1 - Bibliography

  • 3

    Module 2: Introduction to Restorative Justice

    • Overview of Module 2

    • Topic 1: What is Restorative Justice?

    • Topic 2: Restorative Justice Myths

    • Topic 3: Restorative Justice In British Columbia

    • Topic 4: RJ Legislation

    • Topic 5: The Restorative Justice Process

    • Topic 5-A: Initial Contact

    • Topic 5-B: Preparatory Stage

    • Topic 5-C: The Dialogue & Who's Involved

    • Topic 5-D: Follow-Up and File Closure

    • Topic 6: Types of Restorative Justice Processes

    • Topic 7: Risks of Restorative Justice

    • Topic 8: Benefits of Restorative Justice

    • Module 2 Conclusion

    • Module 2 Discussion

    • Further Reading and Resources

    • Bibliography

  • 4

    Module 3: Victims' Justice Needs

    • Overview of Module 3

    • Topic 1: Common Victim Needs in the Aftermath of Crime

    • Topic 2 - How Our Mainstream Justice System Meets Victims’ Justice Needs

    • Topic 3: How Victim Services Meets Victims’ Justice Needs

    • Topic 4: How Restorative Justice Meets Victims’ Justice Needs

    • Topic 5: When Restorative Justice Does Not Meet Victims’ Justice Needs

    • Module 3 Conclusion

    • Module 3 Discussion

    • Further Reading & Resources

    • Bibliography

  • 5

    Module 4: Supporting Victims in Restorative Justice

    • Overview of Module 4

    • Topic 1: Victim Service’s Role in Restorative Justice

    • Topic 2: RJ and VS Collaboration

    • Topic 3: Present-Day Research about Victims and Restorative Justice

    • Topic 4: Obstacles Between Victims and Restorative Justice

    • Topic 4-A: Obstacles Relating Primarily to RJ Agencies/Practitioners

    • Topic 4-B: Obstacles Relating Primarily to VS Agencies/Practitioners

    • Topic 4-C: Obstacles Relating Primarily to Other Players and Stakeholders

    • Topic 5: Effectively Supporting Victims Engaging with RJ

    • Topic 5-A: Supports Relating Primarily to RJ Agencies/Practitioners

    • Topic 5-B: Spectrum of Victim Participation

    • Did you Know?

    • Topic 5-C: Supports Relating Primarily to VS Agencies/Practitioners

    • Topic 5-D: Supports Relating Primarily to Other Players and Stakeholders

    • Topic 6: Limitations and Risks in RJ

    • Topic 7: Addressing Concerns and Risks in RJ

    • Topic 8: What Not to Do - Defining and Avoiding Re-Victimization in RJ

    • Topic 9: Maximizing Support for Victims in RJ

    • Topic 9-A: Trauma-Informed Practice

    • Topic 9-B: Working with Offenders in a Victim-Sensitive Way

    • Topic 9-C: The Power of Language

    • Topic 10: Approaching a Definition of Victim-Centred RJ Practice (by Alan Edwards)

    • Module 4 Conclusion

    • Module 4 Discussion

    • Further Reading & Resources

    • Bibliography

  • 6

    Course Conclusion

    • Course Conclusion

About the Instructors

The C.C.V.S.R.J. Team

The instructors for this online training are Dr. Jessica Rourke, a complex case manager at Restorative Justice Victoria; Alan Edwards, a restorative justice facilitator and trainer; and Shanna Grant-Warmald, program volunteer manager at Restorative Justice Victoria. Restorative Justice Victoria is a non-profit organization based out of Victoria, BC. To contact us please visit our website at www.rjvictoria.com or email us at office@rjvictoria.com.