DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURROGATE DIALOGUE. Carrie O. Banks, PhD. Executive Director Gayle A. Sheller, MA, MSW Program Director. Creating a safe, if not sacred, place for people in painful conflict to tell their
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Carrie O. Banks, PhD.
Gayle A. Sheller, MA, MSW
story, without interruptions, has been found through the ages to be at the core of healing.
–Dr. Mark Umbreit, Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking, University of Minnesota
Putting the Pieces Together for Healing
The cycle of violence is difficult to break when silence and victimization leave survivors confused and uncertain how to cope. Even as society has supported shelters and treatment programs for those who must flee domestic violence, the treatment community has learned how difficult the journey of healing is for those who survive the trauma of violence (Battaglia, Finley, and Liebschutz, 2001).
“Why me” haunts survivors and leaves them feeling responsible for acts that were neither of their making nor by their choice, their self-efficacy and trust deeply wounded. DVSD exists to help break this cycle and to provide not only survivors, but offenders, an opportunity to broaden their understanding of the context and long-term effects of partner-violence.
•Provide another step on the path to recovery for survivors of domestic violence.
• Offer offenders who have committed domestic violence a way of making restitution to the community.
• Help prevent survivors from re-entering abusive relationships.
• Provide offenders who have abused further insight into the costs of their actions to their survivors
Dialogue modeled after Restorative Justice Violent Offender and Victim Mediation process (Dr. Mark Umbreit, Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota).
--Marcy Achilles: Victim Advocate, Harrisburg, PA
“I have more self-esteem than I’ve ever had! I’m more out-going, working, and able to do things like share my story with a group. Not so long ago, I was so anxious about talking in front of people I’d break into tears and have to leave the room.”