Rapists to face victims via a mediator in Romania

by Letizia Orlandi - 2013.02.04

The victims and perpetrators of sexual violence in Romania will be referred to a social mediator, as of 1 February. The victim and aggressor will be invited to meet face-to-face, giving the aggressor the chance to admit or deny guilt, while the victim has the opportunity to ask for appropriate compensation, either monetary or a verbal pledge. The forcible transfer of the aggressor to another neighbourhood is not within the legislation’s remit. The aims of the measure are threefold: it will ease the load of an over-burdened judicial system; secondly, this kind of ‘restorative’ justice, which actively involves those involved, facilitates the re-integration of victims into society; and lastly, according to the government, it can reduce rates of re-offending. However, the measure has been opposed by many who refute the recommendations of the Council of Europe and believe that recourse to mediation should be an option for victims but it should not be compulsory.