'Forgiveness is a present to yourself as well': An intrapersonal model of forgiveness in victims of violent crime.

Author(s)Field, Courtney, Jaimie Zander and Guy Hall
Title 'Forgiveness is a present to yourself as well': An intrapersonal model of forgiveness in victims of violent crime
Source International Review of Victimology, September 2013, Vol 19, No. 3, pp 235-247
Date 2013
Document type Journal article
Coverage Western Australia
Summary This study explores the meaning of forgiveness from the perspective of victims of serious violent crime. Eleven victims participated in the study and on average the offences occurred approximately 12 years ago. Victims of crime in this study strongly emphasised forgiveness as a response to the psychological distress they experienced after the crime. They saw forgiveness as a way of improving their quality of life, as opposed to restoring social harmony between themselves and the offender, a common theme in forgiveness studies not related to crime victims. It was found that forgiveness was composed of four components: self-awareness, letting go, taking perspective, and moving on. These components had parallels in the forgiveness literature but there were significant differences. For example, although some victims felt compassion or sympathy, it was not essential as part of the forgiveness process.
Keywords Forgiveness; psychological trauma; impact
Topic Victims needs