This qualitative study examined the experiences of storytellers who publicly share their story of restoration and/or transformation in the aftermath of traumatic violence. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 participants. Five participants spoke from a “harmed” perspective (victim), and five participants spoke from a “dual” perspective (offender and victim). Publicly sharing one’s story allows the storyteller to make personal and relational gains by providing opportunities to make sense of the trauma, learn more about themselves and others, and strengthen relationships. Audience feedback informs the storyteller’s perception of how their story influences story-listeners’ views on harm and its resolution. Storytelling is a teaching tool that can invite dialogue and build stronger communities. Sharing the story contributes to the journey past trauma by allowing for the reestablishment of order, connection, and empowerment. The results of this study can inform the practices of storytellers, story-listeners, restorative justice advocates, and may be used by helping professions.
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Thesis advisor: Morrison, Brenda
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