The lived experience of forgiveness/unforgiveness in victims of violent crime : an empirical phenomenological study.
The aim of this study was to investigate the lived experience of forgiveness or unforgiveness in individuals who had been victims of violent crime. 6 participants who had experienced violent crime underwent an in-depth interview (Silverman, 2000) aimed at gathering descriptions of their life world with respect to their experience of forgiveness/unforgiveness. The method used to analyse the transcriptions was Giorgi's (1985) phenomenological method adapted slightly by Wertz (1985 as cited in Giorgi,1985). Findings indicated that the capacity to forgive is associated with the way in which individuals see themselves, others, their world and their perpetrators. Results were discussed with reference to the literature reviewed and an Object Relations Theoretical framework was introduced in order to explain and illuminate some of the findings. The implications and limitations of the study are discussed as well as recommendations for future research.