Yesterday, at the Victim Offender Dialogue in Alexandra, victims and offenders shared their experiences of pain and recovery due to the crime. The Department of Correctional Services hosted a victim-offender dialogue at a primary school in Alexandra.
Children from Skeen Primary School are present to listen in as both offenders and victims of crime face off.
According to the department, communication is vital because offenders can hear and respond to the suffering and trauma caused by their actions from victims.
An offender who is apologising and explaining himself to a family he perpetrated crime against.
What is VOD?
Victim Offender Dialogue (VOD) is a process in which the victim of a crime, or the surviving family members, and the offender who committed the offence meet face-to-face in a safe and secure setting. For sure victims/survivors of severe violence and violation, the facilitated VOD process can provide a pathway to a sense of further healing and further justice.
Benefits of VOD
For the victim:
- Have the chance to explain how the crime impacted your life and express your thoughts and feelings about the incident in a safe and controlled environment.
- Get answers to your questions about the offense that only the offender can provide.
- Allow the offender to see you as a real person.
- Be directly involved in how the offender is held accountable for his or her actions.
For the offender:
- Ability to tell his or her side of the story.
- Take responsibility for the action he or she committed.
- Have the opportunity to make amends for what he or she did wrong.