Stories | Questions | Who deserves to be forgiven?

Forgiveness must be a personal choice: it ceases to be helpful if pushed or prescribed. No one has the authority to decide who should forgive and equally the stories on this website show that there are no rules when it comes to who deserves to be forgiven and who does not.

A pioneer of Restorative Justice, John Braithwaite, once said: "Forgiveness is a gift. We destroy its power as a gift by making it a duty."

Marian Partington

"My work has been about connecting with Rosemary West’s humanity and refusing to go down the far easier path of demonizing her."

Bud Welch

"About a year before the execution I found it in my heart to forgive Tim McVeigh. It was a release for me rather than for him."

Eva Kor

"I forgive not because they deserve it but because I deserve it."

Jean Paul Samputu

“That voice was telling me forgiveness is for you not for the offender.”

Gertrude Levi

"I feel hatred towards the perpetrators. But this doesn’t mean that I hate all Germans – it’s only those Germans my age or older who I avoid meeting."


"I don’t deserve forgiveness, but unless you can reach that point where you feel OK, you can never fully heal and move on."

Natalia Aggiano

"I’ll never forget what he did – but forgiving has brought me peace inside."

Brima Koker

"I said that some of the things we did during the war were terrible and we shouldn’t have done them, but that these were unique circumstances and we were not in control of our actions or of what happened next."

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