Sunny Schwartz, an attorney who heads the Resolve to Stop the Violence Project for the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, says 90 percent of victims in a 5,000-person study wanted to face their attackers. "The majority of people, survivors, want to know why, for the offender to hear their pain and ultimately to be validated with their [authentic] apology," Sunny says.
Restorative justice makes a difference, Sunny says, because it's about people. "Traditional criminal justice is about when violence or other crime is committed against the state. Restorative justice is against a human being and relationship," Sunny says. "Traditional criminal justice, when you violate, they're looking for punishment. Restorative justice is looking for obligation and repair."