Their hopes and needs:

  • “It’s a very rare opportunity in the criminal justice system. It’s a rare opportunity for the victim’s voice to be heard directly.”
  • “It’s a way to get more information – a more complete story, so to speak. Get some answers.”
  • “I wanted to do the dialogue because I wanted a release.”
  • “It was something that I needed to do for me. I needed the questions answered.”
  • “We definitely wanted to make sure he was held accountable for what he had done. Make sure that he was remorseful for what he had done.”
  • “I wanted to hear the authenticity in their voice. I wanted to hear that they were truly remorseful.”
  • “Just to see his face and to know that he was feeling the pain that I went through.”
  • “I wanted him to know how he had changed my life. I wanted him to understand, to see, to look into my eyes, and to know the pain that he had caused me by his decision and by killing my son.”
  • “I didn’t know the man who caused the accident. I felt very angry. I didn’t know what type of person he was. I just wanted to meet who’d done that to my son and let him know how that’s made me feel.”

The outcomes:

  • “The end result is in many ways freedom. The ability to loosen some of the burdens associated with being a victim.”
  • “The thing that stands out most to me from the dialogue is the sense of peace.”
  • “We walked in there without it, and you walk out with a sense of, okay, I finally know. I heard his remorse. I heard him take accountability. And now I can put it back on him.”
  • “What I took from the dialogue was peace.”
  • “That dialogue filled the gap of uncertainty. Questions that I had that, throughout those years of waiting to have the dialogue, they were all answered.”
  • “Doing the dialogue brought back my voice for me. I felt, when I walked out of that prison, that I was in control.”
  • “We needed to go through this to move forward.”
  • “I from that moment on was a survivor. I was no longer just a victim.”
  • “Seeing him [the man who killed her son] and how remorseful he was made me look at him as a different person. It made me realize that he was just a person who had made a horrendous mistake on that night. After the meeting, I felt like a big weight had lifted off me. It eased the pain. […] I had lots of anger, lots of bitterness, lots of unanswered questions, and by doing this, it has made me a different person. It has made my closure of things a lot smoother.”

"I’ve actually noticed a revived sense of meaning in my work and purpose in my life. "

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RJV & Covid-19

We are continuing to offer our restorative justice services during this time. We are also taking new referrals.

Depending on the circumstances and the comfort levels of everyone involved, we are working with clients through online conferencing, phone meetings, and/or in-person. We are following all the BC Government guidelines to minimize risk during in-person meetings, and can explore various options with clients on a case-by-case basis. Our staff are continuing to work at home and in the office. If you would like to contact us, email us at office@rjvictoria.com or leave a voicemail at (250) 383-5801 and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

We are currently enrolled in the Canadian Red Cross Stop the Spread program which allows us to administer COVID-19 tests to staff, volunteers and clients upon request on a voluntary basis. Clients wishing to take advantage of this service may discuss this option with an RJV team member.

The safety of our clients, volunteers, and staff is paramount. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about how your case might proceed with our health and safety processes in place. We hope that you are doing well during this challenging time.

Our work during the pandemic is supported by the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and the Victoria Foundation’s Community Recovery Program Grant.