Each participant:

  1. Must be embedded in counseling and have a scheduled plan to continue their counseling after the program;

  2. Must be referred to the program by their counselor; and

  3. Has the choice of either their counselor or a different approved support person attend each session with them.

Counselors of the proposed surrogates discuss in detail the domestic violence circumstances and history of their clients with the survivor or offender coordinator to determine if they would be good candidates to participate with each other in a dialogue session. Further, they ensure that the participants have no previous relationship with the survivors and offenders involved in both cases.


Washington County Community Corrections (WCCC), located within the Washington County Courthouse, Hillsboro, Oregon, provides a meeting site for all DVSD events.

Program Design

  • Prior to the dialogue sessions, all participants sign informed consent waivers authorizing audio taping of the dialogue.

  • Participants enter WCCC through metal detector screens. Offenders do not leave the meeting room until the survivor has exited the building, and participants may request security guard escorts to their vehicles following the sessions.

  • At the outset, the male and female facilitator interview the survivor and her counselor/support person to assess her readiness to proceed and to answer any last minute questions regarding the upcoming session, the environment, etc.

  • A subsequent, separate interview is then conducted with the offender and his counselor/support person.

  • Sessions participants are the male/female facilitator team, a victim and an offender and their counselors/support persons. The conversations are audio taped and averaged two to three hours.

  • Immediately following the dialogue, the male and female facilitators separately interview the survivor and the offender to learn their initial reactions to their experiences.

  • The audio tapes with the survivor and offender provide essential tools in "follow-up" counseling sessions - the tapes are for counseling and training purposes only.

  • "Follow-up" counseling sessions are required.

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