Kaleidoscopic Justice Sexual Violence and Victim-Survivors’ Perceptions of Justice

Author: 

Clare McGlynn, Nicole Westmarland

Publication date: 

8th Mar 2018

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’.

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