Circles of support and accountability: Survivors as volunteers and the restorative potential

Nadia Wager, Chris Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study explores the restorative justice potential for survivors of sexual violence volunteering for Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA). COSA is one organisation that works as part of a multidisciplinary team to manage high-risk, sex-offenders (core members) on their release from prison. COSA have always been considered as a restorative intervention, particularly with regards to the core members and their communities. In recognition of fact that between twenty and 25 per cent of COSA volunteers are themselves survivors of sexual violence, the restorative potential for survivors, warrants exploration. Here thirteen volunteers, including five survivors were interviewed about their motivations for and experiences of volunteering for COSA. In this instance, the analysis did not reveal experiences synonymous with surrogate restorative justice processing. Yet it did indicate that COSA does permit restoration of survivors through their inclusive approach to selection of volunteers and the potential this holds to promoting positive images of survivorship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRestorative Responses to Sexual Violence
Subtitle of host publicationLegal, Social and Therapeutic Dimensions
EditorsEstelle Zinsstag, Marie Keenan
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781315630595
ISBN (Print)9781138641310
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2017


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