Now showing 1 - 10 of 56
  • Publication
    Sexual Trauma and Abuse: Restorative and Transformative Possibilities?
    (University College Dublin. School of Applied Social Science, 2014-11-27)
    At the time the National Commission on Restorative Justice reported in 2009, it said "While no offence should in principle be excluded from the restorative process, certain serious offences such as sexual assaults should be excluded from the initial phases of implementation". The evidence from the research presented in this study indicates that this cautious approach to restorative justice in sexual crime is now no longer appropriate.
  • Publication
    Is there a Role for Restorative Justice after Sexual Crime?
    (Eolas Magazine, 2020-11-14)
    The ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ evidential threshold can inhibit pathways to justice in the aftermath of sexual crime. In the absence of a fundamental shift in legal and criminal justice thinking, alternative avenues to justice should be considered. Marie Keenan, an Associate Professor at UCD’s School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, writes.
  • Publication
    Sexual violence and restorative practices in Belgium, Ireland and Norway: a thematic analysis of country variations
    The article compares and contrasts the provision of some restorative practices in cases of sexual violence in three European countries: Belgium, Ireland and Norway. It begins by briefly outlining efforts to address the ‘justice gap’ experienced by victims of sexual violence within conventional justice systems. The article points to calls for the development of alternative or complementary innovative justice responses to sexual violence. It suggests that restorative justice advocates believe they can deliver a participatory, empowering and flexible form of restorative justice, which can run in tandem with conventional criminal justice processes. However, it is noted that the application of restorative approaches to cases of sexual violence has engendered some controversy. The article points to considerable inter-country divergence in the extent to which restorative justice is accessible to victims of sexual crimes and to the emergence of country-specific patterns in the provision of restorative justice in cases of sexual violence.
  • Publication
    'Them and Us': The Clerical Child Sexual Offender as 'Other'
    (Columba Press, 2011)
    This article investigates child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in two jurisdictions, Ireland and the United States. These jurisdictions are selected because most of the research on this topic emanates from the United States and because my own research with Catholic clergy is situated in Ireland. The article begins by taking a critical look at the dominant discourses of child sexual abuse, as these discourses form part of the context in which sexual abuse by Catholic clergy is currently understood in Ireland. Drawing on sociological and psychological perspectives as well as my own research and clinical experience the article then examines what is reliably known about Catholic clergy who have sexually abused minors and about the role or otherwise of the institution of the Catholic Church in relation to these abuses. Whilst much of the literature from the United States provides the quantitative data on the nature and scope of the problem, my research provides the qualitative picture of the lived experiences of Catholic clergy who have sexually abused minors. The article concludes by arguing that if we truly want to help children and create a safer society for all men, women and children in Ireland, then we need to get beyond a blaming stance and towards more preventative and rehabilitative/restorative perspectives.
  • Publication
    Restorative Justice, Sexual VIolence and the Criminal Justice System
    (UCD School of Applied Social Science, 2013-10) ;
    In addition to the more conventional approaches of the criminal justice system, this article suggests that there is a need for restorative justice as another method of addressing sexual crime. In support of this view, the present article explores the possibility of a hybrid justice system based on a complementary relationship between restorative justice and the criminal justice system. An analysis of the limits of the criminal justice system and the need for restorative justice in the contentious area of sexual violence will be followed by a detailed examination of key justice considerations when trying to marry both criminal justice and restorative justice perspectives. Such considerations include the meaning of justice, legislation, sentencing principles, due process, victims’ rights and the location of restorative justice within/alongside/outside the criminal justice system. The aim of this article is to determine whether it is possible to reconcile two seemingly juxtaposed methods of justice delivery in the context of sexual violence in order to create a hybrid system of justice that best protects and responds to the rights and needs of victims and offenders.
  • Publication
    Two Women's Journeys: Restorative justice after sexual violence
    (Eleven Publishing, 2019-10-07) ;
    For more than 40 years I have worked in the field of sexual violence, and while not exclusively so for all of this time, it has nonetheless always been there. Sexual violence in all its multidimensions has always been part of my professional life – to a greater or lesser extent – and that does not seem to want to end any time soon. From my first child sexual abuse ‘case’ as a young Irish social worker in Brixton in 1976 to issues involving sexual harassment on campus and online child exploitation, with which I am concerned today, my professional life has involved almost every aspect of sexual violence – legal, social, therapeutic, organisational, research and policy – and for most of that time from all perspectives simultaneously. The work has also involved the full 360 degrees concerning multiple parties all together: victims, perpetrators, both sets of families, criminal justice systems and professionals, media, politicians, policy makers, communities, the Catholic Church (Keenan, 2012) and more latterly the film industry ( Sexual violence in its many dimensions seems to seek me out, and it is in this context too that I also first came to work with Ivo Aertsen when he supervised a Daphne-funded research project on Integrated Approaches to Sexual Violence: the Role of Restorative Justice, led by Estelle Zinsstag and myself (Zinsstag and Keenan, 2017). In this tribute article to the work of Ivo Aertsen, we will begin by outlining Marie’s work in the area of sexual violence and illustrate developments in Marie’s thought over this time. We will conclude by offering the perspective of Ailbhe, a young woman who suffered a sexual assault and her journey towards restorative justice and getting her life back.
  • Publication
    The Impact of Clerical and Seminary Culture on Irish Roman Catholic Clergy who have Sexually Abused Minors
    This presentation is based on a study involving Irish Roman Catholic priests and religious brothers who had sexually abused children and who were in treatment for their sexual offending in Dublin, Ireland. The aim of the study was to provide a model of performance that would help con- ceptualise, never justify, child sexual abuse by Irish Catholic clergy. The methodology involved an analysis of the first-person narratives of the participants as they gave account of their sexual offending and a compre- hensive review of the relevant literature. The aspect of the study that will be highlighted in this presentation relates to the impact of clerical culture and seminary training on sexual offending by Irish Catholic clergy. By drawing on the clergy perpetrators’ accounts of their offending and Church Leaders’ accounts of their handling of abuse complaints, previ- ously under-theorised cultural and systemic features of the aetiology of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy are brought into view. The parameters of individual responsibility and systemic accountability are also theorised. The presentation concludes by arguing for more research on those as- pects of clerical culture and seminary training that have a place in the prevention and treatment of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy.
  • Publication
    Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church
    (Manchester University Press, 2014-11)
    The clergy abuse situation in Ireland is often seen as unique, in part because of the close relationship between the Irish Church and the new Irish state founded in 1922. It is also thought to be unique since the Irish surnames of the Irish diaspora, some of whom are priests and bishops in the United States, Canada and Australia, have been listed in abuse cases in those countries. This has raised questions about the oppressive power of the Catholic Church in Ireland and its influence on the Irish political process. Questions have been raised about the Irish ‘culture of deference’ and how this related to the abuse situation. Some wonder if the Church and state worked separately and together in covering up the sexual abuse of Irish children. Some also wonder if ‘Irish’ Catholicism has peculiar features, which when exported throughout the world, contributed to the abuse of children by Catholic clergy. As a mono-cultural society, rendering Ireland ‘the most Catholic country in the world’ , the Catholic Church, once considered the ultimate arbiter of morality has found itself on the margins of influence in Irish public life
  • Publication
    Preface: A Priesthood Imprisoned
    (Coventry Press, 2017-11-27)
    This article reflects on my writing of Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church: Gender, Power and Organizational Culture in 2012 from the perspective of a researcher therapist and Fr John Ryan's writing of this book from his experience as a Catholic priest and how we arrived at the same explanation for the problem of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church as a systemic problem requiring systemic solutions.