What Victim-Centered MEANS

 The JUST Alternatives Definition   

Victim-Centered practice begins and ends with BELIEVING Victims & Survivors, and CHAMPIONING  their needs for Justice, Accountability, RestitutionRepair, and Healing

It means accepting  as “causative” NO evasions or minimizations, such as …

  • Levels  of motivation, intention, or inattention  of the offender.
  • Levels of intoxication, disinhibition, or dysregulation  in the offender.
  • Chronological or emotional age  of the offender.
  • The intellectual or developmental capacity  of the offender.
  • Any Adverse Childhood Experiences  of the offender.
  • Any disorders, addictions, or paraphilias  of the offender.
  • Any criminogenic, criminal, or corrections history  of the offender.

None  of these factors, however correlated, cause, drive, or explain  offenders’ decisions to harm others – or to extinguish precious lives – whether by vicious intention or utter disregard.

Victims of violence endure – and many survive – the traumatic overpowering of their humanity, choice, and control, by force, or fear, or chance, or charm, or other incapacitating factors.

No matter what the circumstances, Justice demands for them a rigorously Victim-Centered, trauma-informed, offender accountability-oriented response.

Restorative Justice in such crimes demands the very same. If the Restorative practice is not Victim-Centered, it’s not Restorative and it’s not Justice.

Listening closely, deeply, and continuously for Survivors’ unmet needs is the foundation from which all  Victim-Centered advocacy and support – including post-conviction accountability work with offenders – must proceed.