This week, here in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as in last week, at Eastern Mennonite University, The Sawbonna Project for Living Justice, will be sharing about the importance of victim voices in the area of Restorative Justice. The Sawbonna Project for Living Justice will also be listening deeply.
Since my powerfully authentic healing with the man who murdered my Father, I continue to be deeply committed to being involved with inviting conversations about the inclusion of victim voices in Restorative Justice, in research and policy.
With the inclusion of victim voice in constructing policy and articulating justice within the framework of Sawbonna/Restorative Justice, comes a more inclusive and richly informed content about how the essential Sawbonna/Restorative Justice values of: respect, responsibility, and relationship can be understood and lived.
I come to this conference with Archbishop Desmond Tutu's words of February to me firmly planted in my heart, "I did my walk my way, Margot. Do yours." Victims-survivors of crime have work to do.
I celebrate being at this conference. I celebrate the fact that more victims of crime are choosing to be involved in creating space, place, and opportunity to use our voices in shaping justice policy. I celebrate the fact that the terrain of Restorative Justice, via the lens of Sawbonna, means that resilience and restoration as opposed to retribution and revenge, find a much-needed foothold.