We, the members of the Transformative Justice Kollektiv have decided to dissolve the Collective. This has many reasons. This kind of work can be very energizing, however it is also very exhausting – many of us have felt this at different moments over the past 9 years. Since we started working together in 2011, we have grown a lot, learnt from and with eachother and from so many people around us. The ideas of transformative justice and collective responses to violence are talked about a lot more in Germany now and that makes us very happy.
Finding a collective response to sexual violence needs an appropriate, sensible approach. The danger of further violence and traumatization is high. However, our collective was often seen as experts and brought in to ‘put out fires’, to do processes for others and not together with the friends and communities involved. In this way, we felt the weight of a great responsibility, which we did not wish to carry as a small group. Because of our limited capacities, we haven’t been able to address the huge number of requests we receive for quite awhile now.
It has been one of our core principles that violence should be answered by those who are in the affected community – however often we were asked to step in and take over. That means investing a lot of time and energy and carrying a lot of responsibility. For us it has been important to share what we have learnt continuously, so that an informed and well-structured process can take place within the community to address the harm that was caused – and to ensure no further harm is done. As a very small group our capacity was very limited and we couldn’t handle a lot of the requests that reached us. We are happy there are other groups who started working on these ideas in Germany and will continue to do so. We decided to embark on the journey of dissolving the Transformative Justice Kollektiv Berlin together, which is a very hard decision for us. All of us are still very connected with this work and dedicated to addressing violence and will continue to do this in different contexts.
Members of the TJ Kollektiv Berlin are still active in this field! To connect with a new group in formation in Berlin, email email@example.com. To connect with the What really makes us safe? Project, check out their website at https://www.whatreallymakesussafe.com/. The project has organized a German-wide network of practitioners doing transformative justice work who are planning a national meeting in February.
For further resources, please check out our links to the right! There are many groups doing amazing work.