Truth and Reconciliation as a Model for Change in Response to #MeToo

The U.S. criminal justice system is designed to handle extreme cases of sexual misconduct, but the system has not adapted well to less extreme (but no less important) sexually inappropriate behaviors. As our understanding of sexual misconduct and impropriety evolves, the need for a new system of accountability seems apparent. The authors call for a new approach to providing justice for survivors/victims: the adoption of a truth and reconciliation model. This model involves providing a public forum for survivors/victims to testify to the events of their victmization and for offenders to admit previous wrongdoing, take responsibility, and ask forgiveness. While it is not appropriate for handling illegal behaviors, a truth and reconciliation model would be ideal for incidents that are not illegal but violate our evolving social norms.

The U.S. criminal justice system is designed to handle extreme cases of sexual misconduct, but the system has not adapted well to less extreme (but no less important) sexually inappropriate behaviors. As our understanding of sexual misconduct and impropriety evolves, the need for a new system of accountability seems apparent. The authors call for a new approach to providing justice for survivors/victims: the adoption of a truth and reconciliation model. This model involves providing a public forum for survivors/victims to testify to the events of their victmization and for offenders to admit previous wrongdoing, take responsibility, and ask forgiveness. While it is not appropriate for handling illegal behaviors, a truth and reconciliation model would be ideal for incidents that are not illegal but violate our evolving social norms.

File Type: 13207
Categories: Gender Equity, Public Policy