What Have I Done? is a book and a course on the subject of victim empathy and it’s fair to describe it as a very thorough, easy to follow and constructive pathway into understanding restorative justice.
Understanding how our actions affect others is without question, valuable in many respects, not least of all because it helps to guide us in our future decisions. Assuming that we learn from them, that is. When actions result in someone becoming a victim, the effect can be far-reaching and complex for some individuals to comprehend. Indeed, it can be the case that perpetrators of such actions are completely blind to the ramifications of their actions, even when these are highlighted.
Fortunately, victim empathy is growing in popularity and practice. What Have I Done? gives an excellent understanding of how to deliver a course in victim empathy to both individuals and to groups, and comes complete with handouts, diagrams, visual aids and a very enlightening DVD. All of which can be used to complete the successful delivery of such a course or even an ongoing and more intensive 1 to 1 course with individuals where it is decided that the most effective route is that of a 1 to 1 format.
The idea of using restorative methods to bring victims together with the perpetrator of the crime gives both sides the opportunity to see how the other person felt at the time of the offence, how they reacted to the offence and how they feel since it happened. This can help to start the healing process, allowing one or both sides to move on and in some cases it can help to give closure to some people, whether they have been the victims or the perpetrators and it is worth mentioning that as emotive a point as it certainly is, many perpetrators of crimes are also victims themselves.
Realizing how we affect others is an integral part of growing up and is key to our personal development. Acknowledging the fact that young people have a huge capacity for change should be part of how we support them and their victims. This book successfully examines how young people react to their offending behaviour and how they can effectively address this while learning to take alternative actions in the future to avoid such negative outcomes.
Having read and seen many such courses I am privileged to have reviewed this one and retain my copy with pleasure.
Roger Blackman can be found at http://www.Reasonswhyuk.org and can be contacted via email at email@example.com
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