“Alternative Justice? Exploring the different views on using Restorative Justice approach to gender-based violence at colleges in the US”, is a  sponsored research project by the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at the University of Michigan. 

What is Restorative Justice?

Built from Indigenous practices, Restorative Justice (RJ) is an approach to justice that aims to get the person who created harm to take responsibility for their actions, to understand the harm that was experienced, and to give the person who has experienced the harm an active role on retribution.

It has become more widely adopted by colleges to address student sexual misconduct. Instead of traditional adversarial adjudications and punishments such as expulsion, RJ-based approaches have many promises.

What are some of the research questions?

  • How do different roles understand using RJ for addressing gender-based violence, especially in colleges and universities?
  • How would these understandings influence the development, implementation, and results of alternative approaches to address gender-based violence in higher education?

Why am I doing this research?

Because of the potential misunderstanding of using RJ in cases of sexual assault and that Title IX was meant to facilitate education, I choose to focus on this relatively narrow area – perceptions on RJ in colleges for gender-based violence. Members in the university community influence the development, implementation, and results of relating programs, and understanding the different perceptions of RJ would help make recommendations to programs that incorporate such practices.

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