Responding restoratively to situations of family violence – the example of the “Porirua Model”

Dr Andrea Parosanu1
1Diana Unwin Chair In Restorative Justice, School Of Government, Victoria University Of Wellington , Wellington, New Zealand

The use of restorative practices in the context of family violence is increasingly gaining attention. In recent years efforts have been made in New Zealand to provide quality assurance to restorative justice in the area of family violence, including through the adoption of specific practice standards in this area.

In practice, collaboration and information sharing between restorative justice providers and the family violence sector has been challenging. The recently launched “Porirua Model” aims to develop an integrated approach, seeking to establish a collaborative relationship between the family violence sector and restorative justice providers in situations of family violence. By involving all relevant agencies as well as family and friends, the pilot aims at developing more coordinated, effective and tailor-made responses, based on restorative dialogues.

The paper highlights specific features of the model and provides insights into the initial stages of the pilot and its achievements so far. It furthermore examines international empirical findings relating to restorative responses in family violence cases and highlights the potential of restorative justice interventions in this debated area.


Andrea Păroşanu has been working as a research fellow with the Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice at Victoria University of Wellington since 2016. Previously, she was involved in research projects on youth justice and restorative justice in Europe. Her research focuses on restorative justice in the fields of youth justice, elder harm and domestic violence.


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