Better to Forgive: Forgiveness by Battered Women

Aviva Zrihan-Weitzman, Zvi Eisikovits

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The purpose of this chapter is to describe and analyse forgiveness by battered women towards their perpetrators. It is part of a larger study examining forgiveness and revenge among partners involved in intimate partner violence. The study used an analytic-phenomenological perspective and interviewed in depth 15 couples (30 interviews). They were a theoretical sample drawn from clients of Centers for Treatment of Intimate Violence. They experienced violence and chose to remain in the relationship. For the present chapter 15 interviews with the women were chosen. Women described two kinds of forgiveness: one taken for granted, that we called ‘adaptive, ' meant to maintain the relationship and overcome the injury; the other which was contingent on change either by individual members of the couple or both and we named it ‘conditional forgiveness.' There was a movement between these kinds on a time dimension. A spiral model describing this movement is presented and illustrated. Implications for the theory and practice of forgiveness are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWebbing Vicissitudes of Forgiveness
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781848882775
ISBN (Print)9789004374188
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Inter-Disciplinary Press 2014.


  • Intimate partner violence
  • adaptive forgiveness
  • conditional forgiveness
  • forgiveness
  • qualitative analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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