by Jamie Martin
With global conditions persistently and pervasively shaped by coloniality, systemic racism and violent patriarchy, what does justice mean? How can one seek justice, and where, under such conditions? What does justice feel like for survivors of sexual abuse and violence? How might we attain justice for survivors? Those of us in places shaped by European colonial legal systems have been schooled in white and western models which offer justice as punitive discipline, corporeal punishment, death penalties, oppressive prisons, and further violence or, simply no consequences at all. Such traditional systems for pursuing justice are also often built on the very racism, sexism, and unequal power which one is seeking justice from, leading to questions of whether such systems can really offer us a way forward for reducing harm, improving equity and fairness, and repairing harm already done. As a counter and possible alternative, restorative justice (RJ) offers a space to question, re-think and re-imagine what justice and human relations might look like.