What is Restorative Mediation?
Restorative mediation brings people who are in conflict into communication in order to repair harm by giving them a voice in a safe environment.
With a restorative mediation intervention there is no identified victim and offender relationship. In this way restorative interventions can be used anywhere to prevent conflict, build relationships and repair harm by enabling people to communicate effectively and positively.
Restorative Mediation is an intervention that:-
• Brings together people who are involved in ongoing conflict which is causing harm.
• Creates a supported environment where participants find and own their own solutions after sharing the impact of the conflict.
• Aims to increase understanding and therefore tolerance between participants.
• Requires participants to take personal responsibility for outcomes.
• Focusses on solutions and the future.
Restorative Mediation is NOT:-
• Soft arbitration.
• Legally binding.
• A means to resolve a legal dispute.
Restorative Mediation aims to engage participants in direct communication as this is considered more impactive, but other forms of restorative practice may be available
Mediation short case study
Case referred to RJ Dorset by Dorset police after reports of ongoing conflict and complaints to police between neighbours involving a variety of issues which had impacted on everyone's quality of life. All parties agreed to take part in a face-to-face facilitated meeting after speaking at length to the facilitators and identifying their needs going forward and the desire for things to change.
The facilitated mediation meeting gave the opportunity for all parties to talk about the triggers for the conflict, how the conflict had made them feel and what was important for them moving forward. This formed the basis of the outcome agreement which set out an agreed course of action and behaviours for the future.
The following comments were fed back to the facilitators after the meeting
‘It was very helpful that everyone could sit in a circle without tables’
‘It enabled misunderstandings to be cleared up and revealed personal feelings’
'It was good to work through an agreement for the future'
‘Hopefully things will now change, we will have to wait and see’.