What is Victim-Offender Mediation?

Victim-Offender Mediation is a face-to-face meeting between victim and offender. It is voluntary for both parties to attend the meeting, which is held by an impartial third person (a mediator) as moderator.

Victim-Offender Mediation is not a substitute for punishment, but is a supplement to punishment.

Why Participate

Because the victim and offender get the opportunity to discuss what has happened in a safe, controlled setting.

Because the injured party can express his/her reactions to the offence and tell about the consequences it may have had.

Because the offender will have an opportunity to take responsibility for his/her actions.

What type of offence can form part of the Victim-Offender Mediation programme?

Violence, robbery, burglary, shop-lifting, and other offences can form part of the programme. However, other offences can be brought up if both parties agree to it.

Where does Victim-Offender Mediation take place?

Victim-Offender Mediation is a nation-wide offer, which has existed since 2010. The programme is administered by the police.

​What criteria must be met?

The offender must have confessed.

Both offender and victim must have agreed to participate.

Persons under the age of 18 must have parental consent.

How are the parties referred to Victim-Offender Mediation?

The parties are asked by the police whether they are interested in learning about Victim-Offender Mediation. If the response is positive, a mediator will contact both parties and explain the concept. Consequently, each party will decide whether to participate in the programme. Other parties may also suggest participation in the programme, for example the parties themselves, parents, social services, and schools.

How does Victim-Offender Mediation work in practice?

When both parties have agreed to meet each other, the Mediator will arrange time and place of the meeting. 

It will be held on a neutral location, perhaps at a library, in a community house, or some other suitable place. In his capacity of moderator, the mediator will make sure that both parties are heard, that they talk about the incident and how they should view the future.

The parties can enter mutual agreements, but the dialogue may also be sufficient

​What is the role of the Mediator?

The role of the Mediator is to assist the parties through the dialogue. Mediators are trained for the task. The Mediator will not decide for or against either party, but solely act as a neutral intermediary in the process. The Mediator will not have had access to police records and will thus only know the facts of the case from the parties themselves. If the parties reach an agreement, the Mediator will write it down.

What happens afterwards?

The Mediator will inform the police that a Victim-Offender Mediation has taken place and that the parties have come to an agreement. The content of the dialogue is confidential as the Mediator is sworn to secrecy.

If an agreement has been made, the police may be given a copy, provided both parties agree to it.

The Mediator will follow-up on the case by contacting both parties after a period of time.

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