Domestic violence is a personal experience, but its root causes go far beyond any individual person—and the opportunities to promote healing aren’t limited just to individuals, either.
Restorative justice is a way to repair harm without involving the criminal legal system. Most Californians support the idea of using restorative justice as a path to healing from domestic violence, because in other crimes, it gets results:
Our cultural beliefs and traditions shape how domestic violence shows up in our communities, and domestic violence has different impacts depending on a community's access to resources. When it comes to healing from domestic violence, one size does not fit all. We can and should create solutions that respect deep cultural knowledge.
None of us live single-issue lives, so we need to move away from single-issue services. To be most effective, governments need to design systems that help the whole person and the whole family. Instead, many of our current systems—for housing, health, financial security, and domestic violence—are set up in silos, and rarely coordinate well. Our systems need to be interconnected, like real life.
Most of us never get a class on what it means to be a good partner, parent or friend, but being in a relationship is a skill we all can learn.
Open sharing and genuine listening between all people in the relationship (even in conflict)
Trust is a key part of healthy relationships, and honesty (with healthy boundaries and some privacy) builds trust.
Affection can take many forms. However it is expressed, knowing the other person in the relationship cares deeply builds strong bonds.
Mutual respect is present when both people feel that who they are, what they think, and what they need is heard and valued.
What aspects of your relationships are you most proud of? It’s good to talk to your loved ones about what makes you feel happy and supported in your relationships, and what things you’d like to work on.
If you’re concerned that your relationship may be impacted by domestic violence, there are resources to help. One place to start:
Every time a survivor, family member and harm-doer is able to heal, it stops a cycle of violence. The impact these cycle-breakers have on the world ripples outwards—healing for one generation is prevention for the next.