Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice Research Collection

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  • Publication
    Gender Equality and Sexual Consent in the Context of Commercial Sexual Exploitation: A study by the Sexual Exploitation Research Programme UCD, in collaboration with the National Women’s Council
    (National Women's Council, 2022-09-21) ; ; ;
    Building a society so that women can live free from violence and harassment is at the core of achieving equality for women in Ireland and globally. Sexual exploitation, harassment and violence are a cause and consequence of gender discrimination and must be located within a gender equality framework. The current sex trade is heavily gendered and migrant women make up an average of 84% of women in prostitution across 13 European countries. In Ireland, the profile of women in the sex trade (estimated to be 1,000 women at any one time) is of young, vulnerable migrants from the Global South and impoverished regions of Central and Eastern Europe. In the vast majority of cases the buyer is male, well-educated, with a medium to high income, whereas women find themselves in prostitution as a result of being trafficked, coerced, compelled by extreme poverty, or lack of other means of financial survival. Legalised regimes in Europe have resulted in an exponential growth in demand, with an estimated 400,000 women and girls in the German sex trade, with evidence of worsening conditions and severe exploitation that has profound consequences for women’s physical, sexual, reproductive and mental health. However, despite this evidence, there is growing pressure, particularly on young women, to understand prostitution within the framework of the neo-liberal concepts of individual agency, choice and autonomy and as a legitimate form of work which can be safely regulated in the market economy as with any other commercial transaction. This study set out to critically examine gender equality and the phenomenon of consent in the context of the commercial sex trade.
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  • Publication
    Examining 'The Meeting' between Victim and Offender: Restorative Justice after Sexual Violence
    (World Society of Victimology, 2022-06-09)
    This presentation begins with a screening of an award-winning film ̳The Meeting‘ (with Spanish subtitles). The film is based on the true story of a real meeting which took place between an Irish woman, Ailbhe Griffith, and the man who, nine years earlier, had subjected her to a horrific sexual assault that left her seriously injured and fearing for her life. Directed by one of Ireland‘s acclaimed film makers, Alan Gilsenan, Ailbhe played herself in this film. The film depicts the minute-by-minute account of the actual meeting, offering practitioners an inside view on how such restorative justice meetings can progress, see www.themeetingfilm.com The second part of the presentation by Marie Keenan examines 'The Meeting' and uses the film to examine restorative justice in cases of sexual violence. Marie Keenan who was Ailbhe‘s support person during the actual meeting and who was clinical and restorative justice consultant for the film.
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  • Publication
    Trauma Informed, Victim Initiated, Victim Focused RJ after Serious Harm
    An increasing number of studies demonstrate the prevalence and understand of trauma and how it works. It is therefore not surprising that "trauma-informed practice" is gaining momentum in areas such as health, education, and legal services. While the concept has also found its way into restorative justice discourses a common argument is that restorative justice has always been inherently trauma-informed and therefore the theory and practice of restorative justice does not require adaptations in light of emerging knowledge. But is this really the case? In this first part of this presentation, we examine this assumption. We also outline the implications of recent scholarship on trauma-informed practice for the theory and practice of restorative justice. When restorative justice emerged in the early 1990s it was offered mainly to youth rather than adult offenders, and serious interpersonal crime was largely excluded. Much of the early research focused on its efficacy to reduce youth offending and the practices were largely diversionary, and offender focused. Not enough examined the victim experience. To what extent these practice and research legacies impede societal acceptance of restorative justice for adult crime involving serious harm against the person is examined in the second part of the presentation. Using sexual crime perpetrated by adults against child or adult victims this presentation considers the role of victim initiated, victim focused, restorative justice in the case of adult victims and offenders and considers its implications for the theory and practice of restorative justice and the potential benefits of such change in thinking.
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  • Publication
    Research on Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church and Restorative Justice
    (World Society of Victimology, 2022-06-09)
    This presentation addresses Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church in Ireland and the potential for Restorative Justice.
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  • Publication
    Research involving people of a refugee background: Considerations for ethical engagement
    This paper is of relevance to both those considering carrying out research and those participating in it. It is based on discussions between three researchers of a non-refugee background and a small group of nine people of a refugee background living in Ireland and Scotland, all of whom have been involved in research in some way. The paper is divided into three sections outlining what should be considered before, during and after data has been collected from people of a refugee background.
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