A Borough-based charity has been given £57,000 to help victims of hate crime come face-to-face with their attackers to promote their recovery.
The City Bridge Trust – the charitable arm of the City of London Corporation – has given the grant to Why Me? Victims for Restorative Justice for a project to facilitate meetings between survivors of LGBT hate crime and their offenders.
As part of the restorative justice project, victims and a perpetrator meet after conviction giving the victims a chance to explain the impact of the crime.
The charity said it hoped the money would raise awareness of the benefits of restorative justice.
Lucy Jaffe, director of Why Me? said: “The City Bridge Trust grant to Why me? over the next two years will enable us to understand more about how to tackle the impact of hate crime against LGBTQ+ people in London through restorative approaches.
“At a time when hate crime has sharply risen and the criminal justice system is struggling to deal with the impact, restorative justice is a quietly radical and effective means of addressing these issues.
“We will be seeking to work in partnership with equality organisations operating in London to spread awareness and understanding of restorative justice and to trial and learn about practical ways that restorative approaches can work to support LGBTQ+ victims of hate crime.”
Alison Gowman, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said: “It’s clear from the many stories of those that have been through restorative justice that it has many benefits and can be a really effective aid in the recovery process for survivors of crime.
The chairwoman added: “This charity has vast experience in this sector and is in the best position to carry out this London project, which will offer an option to some that not all know exists.
“Tackling disadvantage across the capital is essential to make London a fairer and better place to live.”
Why Me? is a national charity which aims for crime victims to have a legal right to access restorative justice.