chapter  13
Circles of support and accountability
Survivors as volunteers and the restorative potential
ByNadia Wager, Chris Wilson
Pages 18

There is some reticence against the notion of survivors of sexual violence working with sex offenders due to concerns that they may be drawn into this field in order to resolve their own traumas. On the basis of interviews conducted with volunteers from Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA), that there is a restorative potential for survivors who volunteer to work with sex offenders in the community. Based on the three key principles of support, monitor and maintenance, a 'theoretical framework' was developed using both research and clinical practice to focus on the pertinent issues that need to be addressed by COSA volunteers. The principle of transformation in communities and government may extend to the potential that COSA has to facilitate a positive change in the way survivors are conceptualised by others in which new conceptualisations of survivorship can resonate with images of strong, resilient, compassionate and self-managing individuals who are fully functioning members of their communities.