A Conversation Toolkit for Advocates to Explore Harm, Healing, and Accountability!

How does accountability promote healing? Connection is an essential human experience often shattered or lost when we experience harm or trauma. Accountability can boost and even restore connection by investing time and energy into acknowledging and repairing harm.

In this way, accountability practices are healing practices. At their best, both healing and accountability offer restoration for people and communities on a path to wholeness.

To be able to practice effective accountability at the organizational or community level, we must first practice accountability on an interpersonal level; a great place to start is practicing with colleagues who share our commitment to building toward a just and equitable future where we all get to thrive.

So how do we learn more about accountability? How do we practice it?

In response to requests from Virginia’s Sexual and Domestic Violence Agencies, the Action Alliance wrote a discussion guide, the Harm and Accountability Conversation Seed Packet, to help those of us working in sexual and domestic violence programs begin to think more broadly about what accountability can and should look like, not only after harm is committed, but also in all aspects of our lives: our relationships, families, workplaces, and communities.

For a deeper dive, here is a series of 4 recent blog posts based on the toolkit:

  1. Sparking Conversations About Harm, Accountability, and Healing
  2. Accountability is a Healing Practice…. And Unfortunately, Most of us Aren’t Very Good at It
  3. Perpetrator” vs. “Victim” and the Impact of Carceral Logic
  4. Restorative vs. Punitive Approaches: How They’re Different and Why We Should Be Paying Attention

Harm and Accountability Conversation Seed Packet

Best of luck facilitating conversations in your teams, organizations, communities, and support groups! For more support or questions, please reach out to Kate McCord, Associate Director, at kmccord@vsdvalliance.org

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