Preliminary VOD Questions — Childhood or Trusted-Other Sexual Exploitation

These questions are for your consideration and reflection, as they may raise issues you haven’t considered in this context, and help you begin to think about preparing for a VOD. It’s not unusual for the answers to change during the preparation process – and even during the VOD itself.

What are your main objectives, at this point, for a Victim Offender Dialogue (VOD) with the Offender?

   For example:

  • Do you want him/her to understand some of the initial and continuing physical and emotional impacts and effects of what s/he did, upon you – and others close to you?
  • Do you want him/her to explain why s/he targeted you for his/her grooming & exploitation?
  • Do you want him/her to explain why s/he chose to do this to his/her other victims?
  • Do you want something other from the VOD, i.e., to know that you can simply endure and “survive” being in the same room with him/her, or to show him/her your strength, after all?

What kinds of things could make the VOD go “wrong” for you?

   For example:

  • If s/he tries to minimize his/her responsibility for what s/he did, by blaming his/her choices on alcohol or drugs or age or family history, or other factors?
  • If s/he tries to somehow subtly (or even overtly) blame you for what s/he did?
  • If you get the sense that s/he is “sorry,” but only in words, not in a real feeling way?
  • If you get a sense that s/he is somehow enjoying being in close proximity to someone s/he has victimized, or seems to be re-living the sense of power and control s/he had?

What do you want him/her to take away from the VOD with you?

   For example:

  • Is it important to you that s/he gain an understanding of the devastation s/he caused, or how the trauma, triggers, and confusion s/he planted can continue to affect your life?
  • Is it important to you that his/her patterns of attractions, choices, and behaviors be fundamentally “changed” by the VOD with you? This is completely improbable.
  • Is it important to you that s/he understand exactly how you feel about his/her possible release from prison, or about the conditions of his/her supervision upon release?
  • Is it important that s/he understand you feel s/he may still present a risk to public safety?
Back to Preliminary VOD Questions Index