Safety, Accountability, and Support: Exploring Alternative Approaches to Intimate Partner Violence
On March 16, 2018, the New York City Domestic Violence Task Force (DVTF) organized the conference “Safety, Accountability, and Support: Exploring Alternative Approaches to Intimate Partner Violence.” The conference focused on restorative approaches, which have their roots in indigenous communities, and are defined by the Restorative Justice Initiative as a theory of justice that can be used both reactively, in response to conflict and/or crime, and proactively to strengthen community by fostering communication and empathy. The method functions by inviting everyone impacted by a conflict and/or crime to develop a shared understanding of both the root causes and the effects.
DVTF Executive Director Bea Hanson framed the discussion with some of the advances that the City has made through the DVTF. However, despite advances, there remains a significant universe of domestic violence incidents that go unreported to law enforcement. Therefore, other opportunities to reach underserved victims must be considered. The purpose of the conference was not to develop concrete plans, but rather to have an opportunity to learn from people who are using restorative practices and understand how these practices may be used to promote safety for victims of intimate partner violence and accountability for people who have harmed them.