Say It Like You Mean It

Critical Response Intervention Through a Community Accountability Model of Apology


  • Navneet Chand Undergraduate Student



There is power and meaningfulness that the act of apology can hold for those with experiences of sexual violence who wish to receive an apology from the perpetrator of the violence committed against them. The perpetration of sexual violence does not occur in a vacuum; there is a communal context in which sexual violence is perpetuated. This paper asks: how can a critical response intervention based in a community accountability model of apology present a transformative alternative to conventional models of perpetrator apology that do not adequately support those who have experienced sexual violence? I argue that the communal context needs to be placed in conversation with the act of apology by a perpetrator of sexual violence not as a means of dispersing the weight of wrongdoing away from the perpetrator, but strengthening the need for keeping perpetrators accountable by adopting a community accountability model of apology.