Torn: Social Expectations Concerning Forgiveness Among Women Who Have Experienced Intrafamilial Child Sexual Abuse

Dafna Tener*, Zvi Eisikovits

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors examine how women who experienced intrafamilial child sexual abuse (IFCSA) perceive social expectations of society toward forgiveness, how they incorporate IFCSA and reconstruct their life stories in relation to these expectations, and the costs and gains from such reconstructions. This is part of a larger study on the phenomenology of forgiveness for IFCSA among grown women. Twenty Jewish Israeli women who had experienced IFCSA were interviewed in depth. Interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data analyses lead to four types of social expectations: forgiveness by forgetting, avenging, family preservation through forgiveness, and satisfying the voyeuristic needs of society, which has limited interest in forgiveness. These contradictory expectations are discussed in light of the cultural context and the experience of the women interviewed. Implications for practice are suggested.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2496-2514
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume32
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.

Keywords

  • adult victims
  • child sexual abuse
  • family issues and mediators

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