Domestic Violence Safe Dialogue
CVS collaborates with the Domestic Violence Safe Dialogue (DVSD) program; an innovative, restorative justice, approach to healing the effects of domestic violence and empowering survivors of DV (and even offenders in many cases) to move forward in life and end the cycle of violence.
The program pairs two volunteer strangers--one survivor of domestic violence and one offender--along with facilitators and supporters, to engage in a conversation about their domestic violence experiences. The strangers ask questions, share their stories, and learn from each other in a conversation they could never have with their own offenders and victims. After a dialogue, all involved come away with a new understanding about domestic violence, accountability, and a transformed belief in healing.
Participants must be referred by mental health counselors who feel they are emotionally ready for the experience. Additionally, offender participants must complete batterer intervention requirements, and demonstrate full accountability for their actions and empathy for victims. At every step, participants are supported and protected to ensure their experience is as positive and healing as possible.
Survivors who've experienced a dialogue report that they feel liberated, that they've had long-standing questions answered, and that it's helped them tremendously to move forward in life and understand domestic violence. Most importantly, it helps survivors understand that they did not deserve the abuse and that it was not their fault.
One survivor, Hope, had this to say:
"Safe Dialogue gave me closure and helped with my self esteem."
Please visit the DVSD website for further information about this program.