Their hopes and needs:

  • “It’s a very rare opportunity in the criminal justice system. It’s a rare opportunity for the victim’s voice to be heard directly.”
  • “It’s a way to get more information – a more complete story, so to speak. Get some answers.”
  • “I wanted to do the dialogue because I wanted a release.”
  • “It was something that I needed to do for me. I needed the questions answered.”
  • “We definitely wanted to make sure he was held accountable for what he had done. Make sure that he was remorseful for what he had done.”
  • “I wanted to hear the authenticity in their voice. I wanted to hear that they were truly remorseful.”
  • “Just to see his face and to know that he was feeling the pain that I went through.”
  • “I wanted him to know how he had changed my life. I wanted him to understand, to see, to look into my eyes, and to know the pain that he had caused me by his decision and by killing my son.”
  • “I didn’t know the man who caused the accident. I felt very angry. I didn’t know what type of person he was. I just wanted to meet who’d done that to my son and let him know how that’s made me feel.”

The outcomes:

  • “The end result is in many ways freedom. The ability to loosen some of the burdens associated with being a victim.”
  • “The thing that stands out most to me from the dialogue is the sense of peace.”
  • “We walked in there without it, and you walk out with a sense of, okay, I finally know. I heard his remorse. I heard him take accountability. And now I can put it back on him.”
  • “What I took from the dialogue was peace.”
  • “That dialogue filled the gap of uncertainty. Questions that I had that, throughout those years of waiting to have the dialogue, they were all answered.”
  • “Doing the dialogue brought back my voice for me. I felt, when I walked out of that prison, that I was in control.”
  • “We needed to go through this to move forward.”
  • “I from that moment on was a survivor. I was no longer just a victim.”
  • “Seeing him [the man who killed her son] and how remorseful he was made me look at him as a different person. It made me realize that he was just a person who had made a horrendous mistake on that night. After the meeting, I felt like a big weight had lifted off me. It eased the pain. […] I had lots of anger, lots of bitterness, lots of unanswered questions, and by doing this, it has made me a different person. It has made my closure of things a lot smoother.”

"I’ve actually noticed a revived sense of meaning in my work and purpose in my life. "

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