Verity Blog

Kaleidoscopic Justice

We are very familiar with survivors being unsure of what justice looks like for them. We never define justice or healing for the survivors, victims, and their families; everyone’s journey is different. We recently discovered a great academic article that delves into what sorts of “justice” survivors want and found that the results that the authors identify mirror what we see from our clients every day. Thank you to Clare McGlynn and Nicole Westmarland for your work and dedication to this project. This article was first published as “Kaleidoscopic Justice: Sexual Violence and Victim-Survivors’ Perceptions of Justice” on March 8, 2018. The abstract:

This article proposes a more multifaceted way of thinking about victim-survivors’ perceptions of justice; what we have termed ‘kaleidoscopic justice’. Developed from an empirical investigation with 20 victim-survivors of sexual violence, kaleidoscopic justice understands justice as a constantly shifting pattern; justice constantly refracted through new experiences or understandings; justice as an ever-evolving, nuanced and lived experience. Within this framework, a number of justice themes emerged, namely justice as consequences, recognition, dignity, voice, prevention, and connectedness. This approach develops current understandings, in particular by emphasizing the fluidity of justice, as well as the centrality of prevention and connectedness in sexual violence survivors’ understandings of justice. We suggest that it is only by better understanding victim-survivor perspectives on justice, and embedding the concept of kaleidoscopic justice, that we can begin to address the sexual violence ‘justice gap’.

We like the term “kaleidoscopic justice” and look forward to incorporating this knowledge and insight into our work moving forward. To read more, click here.

Download a PDF of the article here.


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