What Is Restorative Justice? An Alternative Approach to Crime and Violence

What do successful alternatives to policing, prosecution, and prison actually look like? And how would they work? A group of Chicago’s leading public safety, health, and justice innovators gathered at the DePaul Art Museum last summer to provide much-needed clarity on these crucial questions. Artists, survivors of violence, entrepreneurs and business leaders, public defenders, policy […]

Punishment is Not Justice | Defying Definitions After Sexual Violence

Fourteen years after writing the first draft of my memoir, I was standing in front of audiences, published book in hand, reading about the period of my life in which I was, as most readers understand it, the victim of a predatory man, namely my junior high English teacher. My book, Excavation, had not been […]

Students Push for Restorative Approaches to Campus Sexual Assault

From 2007 to 2011, Suzy Exposito was a busy, ambitious art student at The New School in New York City. She was always hustling. She had a full schedule of classes, worked multiple jobs and was also involved in extracurricular activities, including organizing as an anti-rape activist with her school’s feminist collective. It was this […]

The Rapist Next Door

Videos and photography by Brandon Ancil Stand outside Ruth’s wooden home here in Alaska and you’ll hear only an occasional sound: A plane buzzes overhead, a reminder that the only way in or out of this village at this time of year is by air. Snowmobile tracks in her driveway, fossilized by the cold, creak […]

Restorative Justice Is Bringing Humanity Back to Some Survivors of Assault

Claire was in her first semester of college when she was raped. “I was hanging out drinking with a bunch of kids,” she says. “I’d never drunk to the point of blacking out until that evening. It was the first time that ever happened to me. And somebody who I thought was my friend thought […]

A different path for confronting sexual assault

“When I was crying, that was no,” Sofia yelled. “When I pushed your hands away, that was no! And when I said, ‘I’m not that kind of girl,’ that was NO! I want to know what you were thinking. What were you thinking?” I was sitting with Sofia, 15 years old, as she directly addressed […]

Reconciling Rage and Compassion: the Unfolding MeToo Moment for Junot Diaz

It’s time to tell the whole truth about Junot Diaz. Last month, he came out with a powerful piece in the New Yorker about having been raped as a boy. He connected the dots to his own toxic behavior in relationships where he abandoned and betrayed his partners and slept around. But the story doesn’t […]

Consenting to Normal

In the #MeToo moment, the policing of those who speak up about varying forms of sexual violence and harm remains: the good victim/bad victim, real victim/fake victim paradigm has not gone away, it has merely shifted. And even then, not by much. The significance of #MeToo was that it highlighted how so many of us […]

#NotYet: Why I Won’t Publicly Name Abusers

I’d like to believe that a better world is on her way. Certainly, the times we live in feel like the shuddering, revolutionary convulsions that precede the birth of a new sociopolitical paradigm. The problem with revolutions, of course, is that people die to give them way. My family, having left China just before the […]