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Beyond Absolutes: Justice for All, by Megan Petrucelli

Anarchism outlines egalitarian ways of relating. We are encouraged to denounce systems of domination and control in favor of structures of interaction that promote liberation, collectivism, acceptance of differences, and meeting the needs of all. In anarchism, there is an emphasis on inclusivity, listening to the voices of those marginalized populations who have been oppressed, demonized, and ignored. However, this promotion of belonging is limited and generally not extended to those who do not behave in ways that are aligned with the values we wish to uphold.

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One such example is the way we respond when confronted with interpersonal abuse, be it physical, sexual, or emotional. We are quick to ostracize and denounce these behaviors, but little thought is given to the root causes that lead to becoming an abuser or to limiting further abuse from occurring. First and foremost, it is necessary to address the needs of the person who has been abused, but this focus often leads to a lack of consideration for the perpetrator. When it is suggested that we take the needs of abusers into account or begin to tease apart what causes a person to become an abuser, the conversation can quickly devolve into name calling (“rape apologist”) or dismissal (“It doesn’t matter why, only that the abuse occurred”). We mistake vengeance for justice without acknowledging that vengeance itself is a form of oppression. A culture of fear is created, fear that if we say what we believe or question how to respond most effectively we will be seen as aligned with the wrong person, fear that we will be ostracized by our communities, fear that we are not representing our beliefs and values with the same passion that we feel in our hearts. This fear becomes a divisive fissure that negatively impacts movements and drives communities apart. Furthermore, the needs of the person directly affected by the abuse are often ignored or diminished as the punishment of the perpetrator becomes spotlighted.

Aside from speaking to the potential strength and efficacy of shifting our social responses, this essay is a tribute to the transformative change I have personally witnessed and how I have come to support alternative justice models. I am influenced strongly by my practice in Zen Buddhism, an educational and professional background in systemic therapy, and most profoundly, by my own life history. Speaking from the perspective of a woman who has experienced childhood abuse and neglect, I believe that the stigmatization and punishment of those who abuse actually reinforces patterns we are trying to disrupt. If we truly want people to behave differently, we need to develop a new paradigm that more holistically addresses the needs of all, even those we believe we detest. While I am not an expert on the topics of justice, anarchist theory, radical politics, social construction, or revolutionary ideas, I have enough awareness to understand how my experiences reflect these concepts. My support for alternative justice is born from a theoretical desire for social change, as well as a deep faith in transformative processes stemming from my own healing and, ultimately, growth.

UNDERSTANDING RECURSION

I grew up in a family held together by secrecy. I was molested by my father, as were many other girls, and though adults in our lives were told about the abuse, it went unaddressed for many years. The impact of sexual abuse is well documented and will not be the focus of this essay.1 Suffice it to say, this experience of abuse has significantly influenced my life and continues to be a trauma I cope with. When I was fourteen, a series of events led me to disclose the abuse I had experienced to a school counselor. As is inevitable, the abuse was reported to the Department of Social Services, and eventually the case was brought to court. I refused, along with the other witnesses, to testify against my father.

It’s challenging, in a society that tends to favor punishment, to fathom how I could have made this choice. I myself have often wondered whether my decision was the right one.  What is clear to me now is that there was a root cause to my father’s behavior that ran deeper than the abuse itself.

In systemic therapy there is a term called recursion. Originally taken from the study of Cybernetics, the idea of recursion highlights the “process of repeating items in a self-similar way.”2 From an interpersonal standpoint, a recursive action is one that mimics and is based on a previous action. A common example is that of adults repeating abusive patterns that they themselves experienced. Many sexual perpetrators have experienced sexual abuse, many physically violent people have experienced physical abuse, and so forth. Such was the case with my father. Not only did he witness and personally experience physical, emotional, and verbal abuse, but he also spent the first twelve years of his life in substantial physical pain due to the crippling effects of polio. He was completely disempowered and isolated throughout the early years of his childhood. As is typical, and highlighted by the concept of recursion, he relied on his learned experiences of how to get his needs met by taking; hence becoming a perpetrator of abuse.

To be clear, this recounting of my father’s past is by no means intended to be an excuse or validation of his abusive behavior. I am not attempting to justify what he did or find a way to make him right. My point is simply to build awareness that we are all socially constructed beings. Our brains are defined by our early life experiences. These experiences inscribe in us a basic understanding of human interaction that shapes how we engage with others. From this foundation comes the creation of broad concepts such as Love, Power, Control, Affection, Communication, Attachment, etc. If our early experiences were negative or lacking, our understanding of these “Ultimate Beliefs” become limited, which leads to maladaptive behaviors. Once defined, it takes a significant amount of self-awareness, individual motivation and external support to remedy these dysfunctional patterns of behavior.3 The healing of deep traumatic wounds, like those that stem from abuse, is a form of transformative change. It is the completion of this transformative process that is at the root of justice.

ACKNOWLEDGING DIFFERENCES IN SUSTENANCE

Justice is a collaborative process that provides the motivation and support necessary for those who have experienced hurt or trauma to heal. If we can accept the idea of recursion, and understand that the perpetration of abuse stems from having developed in a maladaptive way due to traumatic circumstances, both “victims” and “perpetrators” are entitled to justice. The practice, of course, is different for each. For perpetrators, justice requires both internal accountability and external support. In order for a perpetrator to truly be able to acknowledge and accept the impact of their behavior on others, they must first process the intense emotions connected to that act. This awareness is two-fold, including 1) emotional recognition of how they hurt the other person, and 2) emotional recognition of what they themselves experienced that caused them to become a perpetrator.

This process cannot be done successfully in isolation. It is dependent on an objective abundance of unconditional positive regard from a strong support network. To have unconditional positive regard is to recognize and reflect back the underlying value of each individual, regardless of mistakes. By providing a person with unconditional positive regard we remind them of their inherent self-worth.4  It is this foundational belief in the self of the perpetrator that becomes the core motivator for the perpetrator to change their maladaptive behavior. When one’s level of esteem has been so deprived through trauma that maladaptive behaviors are born, the only means of repair is for self-worth to be modeled and nourished into growth. As a perpetrator begins to accept that others believe in them, they will shift their behavior to meet that reputation. In the same vein, when a perpetrator is repeatedly told that they are “bad,” they will continue to fulfill that destiny of being bad, again, reinforcing the cycle of abuse.

This is not to say that perpetrators should not be held accountable for their actions or that they should be made to believe that their actions are acceptable. The focus of unconditional positive regard is to separate the person from the action, with recognition that all people have intrinsic value though their actions may need to be remedied. Cindy Milstein acknowledges this point when she states,

“Within anarchism, being just entails being clear-eyed about the differences between people and social relations, including conflicts, in ways that are substantively fair. Everyone and everything has equal value and should be provided equal sustenance to blossom. What that sustenance looks like, however, will differ in quantity and quality based on differences in needs and desires”.5

All of our unique experiences color who we become and how we behave. Therefore, we each have different ways of meeting our needs. In order to equitably respond when abuse occurs, we need to consider what perpetrators need to counter their maladaptive behaviors. In a sense, this can be likened to the concept of mutual aid, by which, instead of offering tangible labor or resource support, we offer emotional and mental health support to build towards a community of greater emotional well-being.

REALIGNING IDEALS

There is an important distinction to be made between justice and vengeance. Although the two are often conflated, they are decidedly different. Vengeance is a tally; a manner of “one upping” or a form of pay back. It is a way of acting out emotions from a one-sided perspective. In the case of vengeance, an abuser is held externally accountable, provided no support, is coerced into limiting a behavior and is demeaned in the process. Not only does this perpetuate abuse, but it likely does not truly remedy the problem or provide an environment conducive to creating a genuine change in behavior. Although the person who has experienced abuse may feel some amount of satisfaction in the process, it is actually counterproductive. A vindictive act will reinforce the abuser’s perception of themselves as a victim. This perceived loss of power on behalf of the abuser may encourage the need to engage in further abuse. Punishment and humiliation in the form of vengeance tends to either fuel the continuation of the behavior with a greater focus on not getting caught, or requires the abuser to meet the same maladaptive need through another unhealthy behavior.

Perpetrators seek to gain power and control in abusive ways as a result of their own power and control having somehow been limited in the past (ie: a history of child trauma). It is specifically this diminished sense of autonomy that underlies abusive perpetration. The embodiment of autonomy is a strong tenet of anarchism. This means breaking down power structures that limit the sovereign power of others and replacing them with horizontal forms of social support. Hence, rather than punishing those who abuse, we need to help them learn how to feel content without taking from or hurting others. We also need to help those who have been abused to focus on acknowledging and processing the trauma without responding with vengeance.

By mistaking vengeance for justice, we uphold conventional misuses of power and control. This is an unintentional reliance on the exact form of relating that we purport to oppose. If we are genuinely invested in change, we cannot be exclusive about who can participate. We cannot pick and choose who among us can take part without again reifying old patterns of domination and control. Instead, we must learn new ways of addressing social illness and maladaptive behaviors. We need to have faith in people’s ability to transform themselves. Abuse is rooted in our ongoing dependence on systems of oppression that do not remedy social problems but, instead, hide or exacerbate them.

Not only does relying on vengeance reinforce the exact code we are villainizing, but it causes further damage to an already damaged individual. Vengeance is not a liberatory response. Instead, it completely diminishes the dignity of both the perpetrator and those seeking to hold the perpetrator accountable by encouraging an abusive reaction in response to abuse (recursion strikes again!). Ultimately, this vengeance goes against the well-worn conviction that “no one is free unless everyone is free.” The better we become at resisting the urge to respond with dominance, the more rapidly change will occur. Furthermore, the more acceptance we display for faults and mistakes, the less we will engender maladaptive behaviors.

THIS IS NOT A NEW IDEA

The philosopher and author Victor Frankl once said to an audience of prisoners, “You are human beings like me and as such you were free to commit a crime, to become guilty. Now, however, you are responsible for overcoming guilt by rising above it, by growing beyond yourselves, by changing for the better.”6   While we may recognize this as an oversimplified view of what leads to a person becoming a prisoner, the point Frankl is making is an important one. He believed in the ability of all people to make their own choices at any point in their lives, including the choice to shift their maladaptive habits and actualize their full potential by learning through the trauma of their own missteps. It is this process that creates a truly free society.

Considering another perspective, in West Africa, the Dagara tribe has a ritual in which each tribal member is conceived with a song. Prior to birth, the mother spends time alone listening for the song of her child. When she hears the song, she returns to her village, and during the process of conception, she and her partner sing the song together. This song is sung to the child throughout its life and is the basis of the child’s identity. It is sung to the child by community members during times of celebration and transition.

“In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them. The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.”7

We need to shift our paradigm from one that is punitive to one in which we identify, support and empower each person’s sense of dignity and autonomy. Community is intended to recenter our sense of being such that each individual is recognized as a part of the whole and has a sense of belonging. Acts of perpetration are symptoms indicative of a loss of personal dignity and an overall sense of disconnection. Hence, these acts are interdependently connected to some way that the larger society has failed the abuser. We are therefore all accountable to some degree when any form of perpetration occurs. We distance ourselves from abusers, through blaming and ostracizing, because we seek to deny the part that we play in allowing abusive responses to be the norm. But this only reinforces the problem. It puts the abuser outside of an otherwise supportive community and marks them as disposable. Such a response intensifies both their lack of autonomy and their lack of belonging. It also mimics capitalist ideals that infer that when something is dysfunctional, it should be tossed aside without consideration. However, by learning to respond with support rather than punishment, we can restore our role as community, become accountable for the loss that perpetrators have experienced and provide space for transformative changes in behavior to occur. By creating such healing, we are also supporting those who have experienced abuse by taking genuine steps towards preventing future abuse to occur.

WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN ABUSED?

But what about the victim? In what way is justice served for those impacted by abuse?

In describing my history of abuse to others, I have always been leery of how to refer to myself. We often describe abuse as if it is two sided; “perpetrator” and “victim.” We have grown into euphemistically referring to “victims” as “survivors” to emphasize resilience. I cannot call myself either of these things. I am not a victim. I am not a survivor. I am a person who has experienced sexual abuse, along with many, many other things. The person I have become is made up of thousands of unique experiences, causes and conditions. All of them define me. I will not be limited in my presentation by one of the most painful of my experiences- and, in whatever way I do chose to define myself by that experience, it will be to draw out the growth and insight I gained from it, not to imply a weakened escape or paint myself as someone who has been imposed upon.

When someone who has been abused is referred to as a “victim” or a “survivor,” they are being identified by what someone else has done rather than by acts they themselves have performed. It removes the control from that person and puts it into the hands of the abuser. Justice for me is inherently connected to living outside of the prefabricated labels we use in common speech to define ourselves and each other. Our identities should not to be limited by any one of our lived experiences, be those experiences traumatic or strengthening. By refusing these limiting labels, I gain personal freedom and a healthier vision of myself in relation to all of those things that have shaped me.

BECOMING LIBERATED

While there is a generally a focus on the accountability of the perpetrator, those who have been abused also must be accountable. The process, however, is quite different. For those who have experienced abuse, accountability is rooted in self-care and an awareness of personal needs. It relies on a willingness to fully feel emotions as they arise, to acknowledge what is bitter and resentful and to absorb those feelings into the whole self. Part of what is so overwhelming about being abused is the feeling that something has been taken. There is the subconscious belief that our pain makes us less than the people around us who we perceive to be content. We push away feelings of anxiety, anger, sadness and hopelessness because society has labeled these feelings “dysfunctional.” This is another form of social control. Society has a way of disempowering and branding those who have experienced abuse by focusing on the damage done. There is a sense that, if you have been abused, there is something wrong with your life. This belief encourages denial and shame. Topics of abuse then become taboo, secrecy develops, and there is little room to process the true impact of what one has been through. It is this response that makes the experience of abuse so painful.

Those who have been abused would be better served if their pain could be seen without pity, disbelief, or avoidance, if they were not labeled via their trauma for the rest of their lives, if they could talk about what happened to them without others becoming uncomfortable, if the whole array of the emotional spectrum could be felt without judgement from those outside of the experience, if what they had endured was identified as strength-building, rather than destructive. These are ways that society currently falls short in supporting those who have experienced abuse.

Our social conditioning causes us to ignore the complex emotions (confusion, loss, disappointment, fear, betrayal, attachment, love) that follow an incident of abuse and instead focus on feelings of vengeance and hate. People who have experienced abuse can be accountable to themselves by resisting this trap. No amount of punishment can minimize the impact of the pain of being abused. Inflicting pain on or wishing harm to someone else does not remove the ills of our past. This is not to underestimate the importance of feeling, and deeply holding, the anger related to experiencing abuse. Anger is a necessary emotion that helps us intuit when we have been wronged and acknowledging it is an an aspect of reclaiming personal power and agency. However, fixating on anger can be harmful and destructive. By moving through the cycle of all of the emotions and continuously reviewing the past with new perspectives and awareness, difficult feelings and memories can be incorporated in such a way that one is empowered by what was endured.

By learning how to integrate the emotions, challenges, and insights that stem from my traumatic past, I experience a particular sense of freedom. If I were to continue to focus my attention on how my father should be punished or how he is wrong, I would still be bound by the abuse he inflicted upon me. But as my focus has shifted towards what I have learned as a result, I see my whole self as autonomous, without dependence on the story of abuse. The trauma I have weathered contributes substantially to who I am today. It has led me to my spiritual practice, to a deep understanding of community, to a belief in myself and has given me a living experience of compassion that I otherwise wouldn’t have had.   It is the combination of all of my life experiences that has influenced me to become a therapist; convinced me to critically consider the world we live in; and taught me to rise up and speak out when something feels wrong, even when others deny it. These things are gifts. Gratitude for those gifts is my freedom and painful memories cannot reduce that liberation.

FORGIVENESS?

It is important to note that promoting justice in this way is not the same as offering forgiveness. Forgiveness is a personal process that varies significantly based on the incident and the person who experienced trauma or hurt. Forgiveness is not required for justice to occur, nor vice versa. Forgiveness is a sort of radical acceptance of what has occurred, a letting go. Justice, however, requires one to remain present, to hold the wrongdoing deeply, in order to take responsibility for oneself, the person hurt by the abuse and the impact on the community as a whole. Choosing to forgive or not forgive might be tied to the individual process of the person who experienced abuse. It may also be tied to the perpetrator’s process regarding their ability to forgive themselves. While forgiveness is connected to emotional healing, justice is a social repair. Though often correlated, they are not codependent.

POTENTIAL ALTERNATIVES

So how can we begin to change our approach when abuse is brought to light? Principles of anarchism refer to “council decision-making mechanisms” noting that, though difficult and requiring hard work, such decision-making mechanisms raise tough questions, like how to deal with conflict in non-punitive ways. 8 We are encouraged to confront problems directly, without intervention from formal institutions, such as the police. There are attempts to collectively raise concerns and problem solve as a community. There is also often a reliance on consensus and some focus on giving voice to the person who has been harmed. These approaches address part of the problem, but do not consider the needs of all parties. Alternative justice models such as Restorative and Transformative Justice more succinctly outline processes for responding to perpetrators.

Restorative Justice seeks to hold perpetrators accountable via a process that includes input from the person who was abused while keeping in mind the goal of encouraging perpetrators to effectively return to a place in society. According to the Center For Justice and Reconciliation, “Restorative Justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused or revealed by criminal behavior. It is best accomplished through cooperative processes that include all stakeholders.” 9 The efficacy of Restorative Justice hinges on the process being collaborative between the person who experienced the trauma and those engaged in and enforcing the accountability process. Restorative Justice also involves the community as a resource towards which the perpetrator returns. It empowers the person who has experienced the abuse by centering the process around that person’s healing and a returned sense of dignity, while also maintaining the belief that the perpetrator should not be ostracized from the community.

Transformative Justice takes this concept a step further to include awareness of the impact of systemic oppression on behavior and to create a transformative shift in that system to prevent the oppression from continuing to occur. In this approach, the focus is not, as stated by Kevin Van Meter, “simply [on] punishing the perpetrator or restoring the situations to its pre-violence conditions, but rather transforming the perpetrator, survivor, and conditions of oppression that lead to the violence in the first place”.10 Transformation evolves out of the process in which both the person abused and perpetrators are supported to reframe their pain to encourage positive change in the world.11

I believe these ideas point in the right direction for addressing abuse and maladaptive behaviors. In particular, I appreciate the emphasis on holistic transformation alluded to in the Transformative Justice Model. It acknowledges the potential for Post Traumatic Growth 12 that can occur when supportive conditions are present following episodes of trauma.

To reiterate, these are not “forgive and forget” models. These models acknowledge that if we respond to each other in new and supportive ways that do not rely on recursive dominance, we may reduce the occurrence of abusive behaviors. The cycle of abuse that was passed to my father also ended with my father. He was the last in a lineage of people who were abusive to perpetrate abuse. Additionally, he stopped enacting the abuse he had been so reliant on to meet his needs. Through my family’s commitment to him, we devised a plan of action that involved holding my father accountable for what he had done, supporting him to address the underlying issues that led him to become an abuser and creating a “safety plan” as a means for preventing him from perpetrating again.

This most importantly involved breaking the silence around discussing the abuse.   Prompted by the news that my stepmother was pregnant when I was seventeen, my older sister, stepmother and I confronted my father about the seriousness of the abuses he had committed. My stepmother gave him an ultimatum to either begin to address his behaviors with intention or she would divorce him. We identified a therapist who specialized in work with sex offenders and required that he go weekly. While his sessions remained confidential, we were each allowed to check in with his therapist to ensure he was actually talking about the things he had done. I once wrote his therapist an eight page letter outlining the stories of every person I knew he had abused to make sure he hadn’t avoided talking about them. We attended therapy sessions together, both as a family and my father and I alone, which allowed us to process our emotions related to the abuse. There were stipulations that he would not be left alone with children, including my little sister, and no child would ever be aloud to sleep over the house. My younger sister was raised with an ever-present awareness of “good touch versus bad touch” and though we never specifically told her that my father has perpetrated abuse, I have asked her if she has experienced abuse of any kind herself. She says she has not.

True to my own process, I have never hidden the fact that my father abused me. I told my father once, “This is not my secret anymore.” As a result, several close friends of our family found out and ultimately severed their friendships with my father. For the first time, my father was not being protected. He could not continue to pretend to be the person others thought he was. Though painful, he was confronted with the true consequences of his behavior. It also had the dual effect of allowing him to let go of all the secrets and the need to hide. Although there were losses, there were also those of us who stood by him. He learned that he could be loved despite his wrongdoings. He also now had a network of people around him who he could actually talk to when he felt compelled to act out abusively. Having that outlet minimized the drive to abuse others and he learned new skills for meeting his emotional need for power and control. As a result of this process, my father has not been an active sexual perpetrator for more than 24 years.

It is quintessential to state that if a person has experienced abuse, they should never be required to participate in the healing process of their abuser or feel obligated to have compassion for them. Doing so may trigger additional trauma and can be very damaging, especially if forced or attempted before a significant amount of emotional integration has occurred. The sharing of my personal experience is not intended to be an example of the “right” way to respond to an act of abuse, but rather to demonstrate that alternative approaches can be effective. I was compelled to confront my father’s abuse and engage him in this process because my community failed me. When I told the adults in my life about the abuse I had experienced they ignored it. When I continued to seek support from adults outside of my family, I was threatened with the loss of my only surviving parent. Follow up visits with Child Protection Services that were intended to monitor my well-being, instead, forced me to align with my father in an attempt to avoid the foster care system. None of these options were without their consequences and none were particularly healthy. Our discomfort with considering the complexities of abuse and it’s impact on individuals, families and whole communities alike, causes us to create generally inadequate responses to trauma.

As a society, we must design systems to facilitate and oversee the transformative processes discussed so that the onus does not fall on the person who experienced the abuse to do so. The voices of those abused should remain in focus, with the option to decide for themselves if and/or how they want to engage with their abuser. This would not only protect those abused and provide them with space to begin their own healing, but it would re-center the larger community as an invested caretaker, creating a culture of support rather than a culture of avoidance, or worse, a culture that reinforces abuse. The need to devise consequences for enacting abuse remains, but such consequences should be designed to address underlying needs and prevent further abuse, rather than to punish. Some aspects of these processes may be accomplished via official means (ie: transformative justice programs, mental health support, and social services) while others may occur through more casual interpersonal interactions (ie: supportive networks for abusers and for those who have been abused). All of these new systems are dependent on the development of a new paradigm that recognizes the unique trauma of each individual and works to heal that pain holistically. Ideally, as this shift occurs, there will be less need to develop and rely on maladaptive behaviors, a reduced sense of shame and fear related to disclosing abuse and a more effective community response to mitigate acts of abuse that do occur.

BEYOND ABSOLUTES

When I consider the ways in which I would really like to see this society shift, when I factor in my dedication to breaking down hierarchical structures that rely on the domination of others, I can’t help but wonder: how do we respond to those who conjure up inside of us the difficult feelings we want to avoid; the feelings that encourage subjugation and persecution? We are loath to imagine that there is any aspect of ourselves that may also be oppressive; that when our feelings overwhelm us we also lash out in abusive ways. Instead, we push perpetrators away and other them as “criminals” to separate ourselves from their behaviors. In this way, we feel justified for maintaining and acting out the systems of oppression we otherwise reject.

My ongoing relationship with my father has enabled me to have a different experience. I will never condone his abuse, but I understand his suffering. This humanizes him and allows me to remain connected to who he is in the present. He remains fallible on so many levels. He is deeply sad and unhealthy and he visibly struggles under the weight of his own history. His past is something that he has to live with every day. I don’t. I chose not to. I chose to let myself be sad and angry with my father when I am feeling sad and angry and to love him when I can touch upon that place of love. It is complicated, confusing and freeing. We have come to this balance through our own process, which, for me, provides a sense of justice.

Megan Petrucelli is a Marriage and Family Therapist working in Portland, OR. A native New Yorker, Megan migrated to the Bay Area, CA in 1999 to study organic farming and Zen Buddhism. She has been invested in deepening her knowledge of neoliberal politics since traveling and volunteering in SE Asia from 2002-2004. She moved to the Pacific North West in 2005 and is currently focused on anti-capitalist and anti-oppression work, both locally and internationally, most recently via work with the Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Witness For Peace, Showing Up for Racial Justice and the People’s Institute. Megan is also deeply passionate about exploring the intersection of mental health and social justice in an effort to promote more lasting social change.

Notes:

1 https://www.victimsofcrime.org/media/reporting-on-child-sexual-abuse/effects-of-csa-on-the-victim, https://rainn.org/get-information/effects-of-sexual-assault, http://www.vawnet.org/applied-research-papers/print-document.php?doc_id=349

2 Wikipedia; available online at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recursion

3 Dr. Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD; Dr. Daniel J. Siegel MD; Dr. Bessel A. van der Kolk; http://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/brain-architecture/

4James R. Iberg. “Unconditional Positive Regard: Constituent Activities”; available online at http://www.focusing.org/upr_iberg.pdf (accessed September 2015)

5 Cindy Milstein. Anarchism and Its Aspirations (Oakland: AK Press, 2010), 39.

6Victor Frankl. Man’s Search For Meaning (Boston: Beacon Press, 1992 edition), pg 149.

7 Irving Karchmar. “Love Songs Of The Child- Welcoming Spirit Home”; May 6, 2013; available online at https://darvish.wordpress.com/tag/song-of-the-child-in-african-tribe/ (accessed September 2015)

8 Cindy Milstein. Anarchism and Its Aspirations (Oakland: AK Press, 2010), 15.

9 Prison Fellowship International; Center For Justice and Reconciliation; available online at http://www.justiciarestaurativa.org/www.restorativejustice.org/university-classroom/01introduction

10 Kevin Van Meter. “To Care Is To Struggle” in Perspectives On Anarchist Theory, Volume 13, Number 2.

11 Scot Nakagawa. “Restorative and Transformative Justice: A Comparison”; August 31, 2003; available online at http://www.safetyandjustice.org/node/173 via the Partnership for Safety and Justice (accessed September 2015)

12 Woodward, C. and Joseph, S. (2003), Positive change processes and post-traumatic growth in people who have experienced childhood abuse: Understanding vehicles of change. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theo, Res, Pra, 76: 267–283. doi: 10.1348/147608303322362497

 

 

 

 

 

 

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