By Tara Sheppard-Luangkhot RJ4All Project Officer, November 2021
The tragic news of the recent killing of MP David Amess reached me all the way in Canada, where I live. As Restorative Dialogue Against Violent Radicalization (RDAVR) project officer and a psychotherapist,I am acutely aware of the importance of good mental health to the prevention of violent radicalisation. RDaVR will teach professionals to increase restorative justice and restorative dialogue skills that build mental resiliency, integration, self regulation and positive relationships among adults and youth at risk of violent radicalisation in the UK, Turkey, Italy, Romania, Spain and Ireland.
As part of RJ4All's efforts for International Restorative Justice Week 2021, this blog aims to raise awareness of alternative methods to prevention.
In the U.K., RDaVR research findings revealed that vulnerable youth and adults need early intervention, trauma informed, individualized mental health care in order to build resilience and desist or divert from violent radicalisation. Funding and policies are needed to support skilled and consistent mental health care in schools, communities and mental health agencies. Mental health care for individuals and their families is integral to keeping people from acting out in violence. Mental health professionals can learn to use restorative dialogue to reach people who plan to commit harm is necessary to reducing harm by violent radicalisation in our communities.
RDaVR is committed to research, education and program development that supports communities to care mental health as part of resilience against violent radicalisation in the U.K., Romania, Ireland, Turkey, Spain and Italy. The RDaVR project is currently developing course modules to deliver face to face and e-courses to professionals who work with people at risk of violent radicalisation. One of the courses our partner from Spain is developing is called “Resilience, Mental Health and Neurodiversity”. Our collective research findings indicated that managing mental health and neurodiversity is important to prevention and intervention into violent radicalisation. Check out RDaVR at @Rdavr on Facebook or visit our website at https://www.restorativedialogue.org to read about our work to prevent and intervene into violent radicalisation in Europe.
Victims of hate, violent extremism and terrorism also need trauma informed mental health care. Our U.K. findings demonstrated that victims are deeply affected by violent radicalisation and terrorism, and they need sustained mental health care to recover from the pain and losses associated with violent radicalisation, violent extremism and terrorism. Mental health recovery from the harms caused by violent radicalisation, violent extremism and terrorism is part of restoring dialogue and repairing harm to the community.
At RJ4All, we are dedicated to healthy communities where people are safe from terrorism, violent radicalisation and violent extremism. In our efforts to respond to terrorism, RJ4All’s Internet Journal of Restorative Justice published a special issue on violent youth radicalisation, read more at https://www.rj4allpublications.com/product/special-issue-editorial-violent-youth-radicalisation-perspectives-and-solutions/ RJ4All also offers several CPD accredited restorative justice e-courses to prevent violent radicalisation and support victims such as “Safeguarding and Empowering Victims of Crime” found at https://rj4all.uk/online/courses/secv/ , or “Preventing Youth Radicalisation” found at https://www.rj4all.uk/online/courses/preventing-violent-youth-radicalisation/ and “Resolving Conflict and Addressing Group Violence” at https://rj4all.uk/online/courses/positive-futures/.
RJ4All Founder and Director, Dr. Theo Gavrielides also offers several free resources on his website at https://www.theogavrielides.com such as Youth radicalisation, restorative justice and the Good Lives Model: Comparative Findings from seven countries and Human Rights and Violent Extremism. Dr. Gavrielides has also written several blogs on the topic of violent radicalisation and violent extremism found at Blogs | London, UK.
RJ4All has multiple projects dedicated to preventing and countering violent radicalisation and violent extremism including “Violent Radicalisation, Human Rights and Restorative Justice” https://www.rj4all.info/RJ-Radicalisation . RJ4all has several projects https://www.rj4all.info/current-projects aimed at building healthy, strong and safe communities. Many of our projects are focussed on prevention of violent radicalisation
Restorative Dialogue against Violent Radicalisation or RDaVR, is one of the RJ4All projects dedicated to preventing violent radicalisation, RDaVR is an Erasmus+ project that aims to research and develop restorative dialogue curriculum to train European c professionals to prevent violent radicalisation.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission under the Erasmus+ Programme. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.