April 19-25 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW), and Justice Fellowship, the public policy arm of Prison Fellowship, is examining the six values in its restorative justice framework that pertain to victims of crime.
Today, we highlight the restorative justice value of validation.
Validation—it may seem superfluous to someone who has never been a victim of a crime, but it is crucial that victims receive formal acknowledgement that whatever injuries, harm, or damages they have sustained should not have happened, and that justice includes due consideration of their needs and rights under the law.
Validation is one of the values in Justice Fellowship’s restorative justice framework. As part of our observation of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW), we are introducing the six values that should govern the way our criminal justice system prioritizes victims throughout the justice process.
Our courts and law enforcement officials need to reassure harmed parties that they have experienced injustice and it is not their fault—and those in our communities need to offer similar reassurance. Such reassurance provides validation to victims and may help facilitate healing. Victims should also receive confirmation that justice involves reparation as well as punishment for the individual who harmed them.