Restore aims to amplify the voices of victims and survivors of serious crime through storytelling.
Voicing the Void is proud to facilitate the ‘Restore’ program. Restore aims to amplify the voices of victims and survivors of serious crime through storytelling. We sincerely believe listening to these stories will help society create a fairer and more just criminal justice system for all. Our Restore programme empowers, enables, and encourages participants to realise and share their own personal story. Storytelling can be a means for victims and survivors to reflect and process a difficult and traumatic time in their lives.
Restore provides a safe, supportive environment where participants can open up, reflecting upon and sharing their story. Solidarity and support offered within the group helps the storytellers to feel comfortable to begin to express themselves. Participants reflect on each others resilience and self-worth. They encourage each other. Victims often feel that the criminal justice system cares more about offenders than about them.
Oftentimes media coverage of an offence does not reflect the experience of the victim. Restore pays attention to often unheard voices. We allow participants to take back control of their own narrative. Throughout this programme, reflective and restorative exercises are used to help the participants critically reflect on the key events in their lives. Carefully chosen activities facilitate group bonding. Participants are encouraged to be creative by using an art medium of their choosing. Painting, drawing, photography, dance, film, music, poetry and even the Japanese craft of ‘kintsugi’ were available to group members. The artistic process both helped the participants tell their story and also process difficult feelings that arose as part of the storytelling process.
Participants were given autonomy over how their stories were presented and used in the future. Some chose to make videos, others written stories or art works. Each participant could take their story home or choose to share it with as few or as many as they saw fit. Within the Restore program, control is always given to the participants. The Restore project respects that each group member can decide what and when to share and how to best express themselves through the art they choose. Restore empowers group members to say ‘no’ when they need to.
We want to thank our participants for sharing their stories. It is a privilege to facilitate the recording of such powerful stories of hope and resilience over extreme adversity. The depths of courage and strength that the participants possess is admirable.
Restore has been delivered in partnership with PBNI and Quaker Service.
#RESTORE #STORYTELLING #CHANGE