The Restorative Circle process is based on the work of Dominic Barter which began in Rio de Janeiro in the mid 1990s and continues with a growing community both in Brazil and internationally.

Rio-slums.jpg

A Restorative Circle is a community process for supporting those in conflict. It brings together the three parties to a conflict - those who have acted, those directly impacted and the wider community - within an intentional systemic context, to dialogue as equals. Participants invite each other and attend voluntarily. The dialogue process used is shared openly with all participants, and guided by a community member. The process ends when actions have been found that bring mutual benefit.

Step 1

Mutual Comprehension: Everyone shares their story and how their lives are currently affected.

Step 2

Self-Responsibility: We each take responsibility and reflect back to the time of the event and what was important to them.

Step 3

Agreed actions: We agree on specific, measurable, achievable and timely actions.


“If the ongoing victimizing process of exclusion from community is not interrupted, I’m condemned to an identity of pain. ‘Victim’ is so much less than who I am. Without space for the voice behind what I suffered, I and we are stuck in endless consequences.”

“If my self-traumatizing acts of violence are then condemned, I’ll be doubly lost. ‘Offender’ doesn’t even come close. Without a space for the voice behind the act, we only pile on more pain.”

“Until my co-responsibility for things that occur between people I share risk with is named, I’m isolated in apparent disconnection, a bystander. Real ‘community’, distinct from affinity and identity needs voice so I can see the conflict as mine and make change a commitment to action.”
— Dominic Barter