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In the aftermath of a heart-wrenching tragedy, Bridget Sakr faces an unimaginable loss: her daughter Veronique, along with her cousins, was killed in a car accident caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Despite the profound grief, Bridget and other families affected by similar tragedies have chosen to walk a path of forgiveness and restorative justice.

Instead of harboring anger and resentment towards the driver responsible for Veronique’s death, Bridget contemplates writing a letter to him. This act of reaching out is a step towards healing, reflecting a profound shift from vengeance to empathy.

Many victims’ families have found solace and a sense of closure through restorative justice processes. These include meeting with the offenders or their families, which can facilitate a mutual understanding and provide a platform for emotional healing. Such practices have proven instrumental for many, helping them navigate their grief and move towards forgiveness.

Restorative justice practices, including circle sentencing, have shown significant benefits beyond individual healing. They have been effective in reducing levels of incarceration and reoffending, particularly within Indigenous communities. These practices focus on rehabilitation and reconciliation, rather than punishment alone, fostering a more compassionate and constructive approach to justice.

Bridget Sakr’s story, along with those of other affected families, underscores the transformative power of forgiveness, empathy, and understanding. In the face of immense grief and loss, their journeys highlight the potential for restorative justice to bring about profound healing and reduce the cycle of harm.


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Article Title: Restorative justice brings together perpetrators of crime and victims — but not everybody is ready to meet
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