Massive trauma and the healing role of reparative justice


  • Yael Danieli

    Corresponding author
    1. Group Project for Holocaust Survivors and Their Children, New York, NY
    • Group Project for Holocaust Survivors and Their Children, 345 East 80th Street (31-J), New York, NY 10075-0643
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In this article, the author focuses on victims/survivors' experiences of justice processes after massive trauma. Reparative justice insists that every step throughout the justice experience—from the first moment of the court's encounter with a potential witness, to the follow-up of witnesses after their return home, to the aftermath of the completion of the case—presents an opportunity for redress and healing. Conversely, this experience may present a risk of missing opportunities for healing and reintegrating victims into their societies, or, worse, (re)victimizing and (re)traumatizing them. Although restitution, rehabilitation, or compensation may come only after this process has concluded, opportunities exist throughout. Although not sufficient in itself, reparative justice is a necessary component among the healing processes after massive trauma.