'I Want to be Able to Walk the Street Without Fear': Transformative Justice for Street Harassment

Author: 

Fileborn, B & Vera-Gray, F

Publication date: 

14th Jul 2017

Abstract

The practices comprising the analytic category of street harassment are rarely responded to through either criminal or restorative justice approaches, and the possibilities for transformative justice have to date not been considered. In this article we advocate for a victim-centred justice response to street harassment, specifically examining the potential for transformative justice to function in this way. Drawing on data from a recent Australian study, we examine participants’ understandings of justice and desired justice responses to street harassment. Participants’ responses drew attention to a range of perceived shortcomings of the formal justice system as a mechanism for responding to street harassment. Instead, participants advocated for a justice response concerned with transforming cultural and structural norms, in particular gender norms. We end in an examination of the limitations of transformative justice, looking to recent work on “kaleidoscopic justice” as a way of transforming common conceptions of justice itself.

 

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