Repairing relationships with Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice Neighbours 24/11/2023

RJ Week 23 (2)

To round off Restorative Justice Week we wanted to share one of our success stories with you, so you can see how our Restorative Justice (RJ) service works and the impact it can have.

*Please note, names have been changed to keep this story anonymous.

The complaint

While they were initially friendly, our tenant Fatima* made a complaint about her neighbour Tom*.

To begin with, Fatima had been happy to talk to Tom and be polite, but it became too much when he starting coming into her home without her permission. He was also using and moving her garden tools and started showing signs of quite hostile behaviour - especially in the communal garden and when he’d been drinking.

The situation began to affect Fatima’s mental health and she decided she needed to set boundaries. This upset Tom and he then started to involve his wife and daughter, which led to further issues.

The meeting

At this point, Fatima and Tom and his family agreed to attend an RJ meeting with our Restorative Justice Officer, Sacha.

Unfortunately, on the day, Tom didn’t attend but his wife and daughter did come along in his place. To begin with, everyone was quite upset about the issues but they all had their chance to talk about how it was affecting them.

During the meeting, Fatima explained to Tom’s wife that she often felt like a babysitter, as Tom would come over to her house whenever his wife was out. Tom’s wife knew that he struggled being home alone and that he sometimes visited Fatima, but she didn’t realise how bad it had become or that he was letting himself in. She was also upset to hear the impact it was having on Fatima’s mental health.

Reaching an agreement

After an open and honest discussion, both Fatima and Tom’s family managed to reach a mutual agreement and ended the meeting in a good place.

Tom’s wife said that she would talk to Tom about what they discussed and the agreements they made about him visiting Fatima and using her garden tools.  

Everyone left the meeting feeling positive and happy with the agreements they came to.

Next steps

Looking after our tenants and checking in on them after the RJ meeting has taken place is just as important as the meeting itself!

Following each RJ meeting, a copy of the agreement made will be sent to everyone involved, along with a “thank you” letter for attending. We then contact them to get an update on the situation around two weeks after the meeting.

While this case didn’t require any further action, we can make onward referrals for participants if we think that further support or intervention is needed.

If you want to find out more information about Restorative Justice, you can visit our webpage.