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Transformative Justice-Part 2 of 3- a summary from Just Practice: Community Accountability workshop

“Restoring things to the ‘golden age’ from ages past, when everything was better, is not enough.” says Transformative Justice. In fact, there is no golden age when everything was better. Things have been malformed from the beginning. And so, we should not be concerned with restoring or bringing things back into so called “order”, but instead, we should go about it a whole different way. The other way, that is possible, is Transformative Justice.

Transformative justice is a philosophy, a set of ideals, and it is also a framework, practice, & process that believes and generates action around the notion that we must address the roots of violence within society and embedded in our communities and we must transform the conditions that give life to those roots. Transformative Justice might use practices might use practices and processes from the past- ancestors, movements, communities. Transformative Justice is also using repeated small experiments to discover new insights and possibilities. Folks who practice Transformative Justice are rehearsing new pathways,.



North Star

“Transformative justice [is] a liberatory approach to violence…[which] seeks safety and accountability without relying on alienation, punishment, or State or systemic violence, including incarceration or policing.

Three core beliefs:

Individual justice and collective liberation are equally important, mutually supportive, and fundamentally intertwined—the achievement of one is impossible without the achievement of the other.

The conditions that allow violence to occur must be transformed in order to achieve justice in individual instances of violence. Therefore, Transformative Justice is both a liberating politic and an approach for securing justice.

State and systemic responses to violence, including the criminal legal system and child welfare agencies, not only fail to advance individual and collective justice but also condone and perpetuate cycles of violence.

Transformative Justice seeks to provide people who experience violence with immediate safety and long-term healing and reparations while holding people who commit violence accountable within and by their communities. This accountability includes stopping immediate abuse, making a commitment to not engage in future abuse, and offering reparations for past abuse. Such accountability requires on-going support and transformative healing for people who sexually abuse.”

“Towards Transformative Justice…”, p. 5 Section One

by Generation 5, San Francisco based non-profit working to end child sexual abuse in 5 generations


Praxis: Practices and Processes of engagement + reflection

Actions, strategies, tactics, engagements, disciplines, - these are the ways by which you live out the values of Transformative Justice. Transformative Justice Practices actively engage and answer questions like:

  • How do we build our personal and collective capacity to respond to trauma and support accountability in a transformational way?

  • How do we shift power towards collective liberation?

  • How do we build effective and sustainable movements that are grounded in resilience and life-affirming power?

  • How can we shift our response to violence so that we are supporting survivors and their self-determination, as well as supporting people to fundamentally change their abusive behaviors?

In order to respond to these questions and implement these alternative practices to criminalization, it is important to identify and recognize some of the key components of Transformative Justice.

Trauma-informed and Survivor-focused Healing: It is first and foremost essential to recognize that transformative justice practices need to support survivors by reinforcing their autonomy and self-sufficiency with trauma-informed care. Survivors must be provided options to decide what will help them in their safety, transition and healing.

Community Accountability and Collective Action: In order to bring long-term social change,shift the culture, and transform the way we respond to sexual and domestic violence, communities can start closely examining and addressing the individual and the societal root causes that have led to these violent and oppressive environments for marginalized communities. This component not only reinforces communities to work together, foster partnership and collaboration to provide a safer and supportive space, but also encourages collective action to change risk factors leading to abusive or violent behaviors.

Recognizing Cultural Differences- Communities working towards preventing and ending sexual and domestic violence and interested in transformative justice practices must recognize that there could be cultural differences which may have to be adapted and modified to be effective and sustainable

From an Article entitled What does Transformative Justice look like? Survivor-focused, Trauma-Informed, & Community Accountability to ending Sexual Violence

Posted by California Coalition Against Sexual Assault

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