Understanding sexual revictimization of women through metaphors: A qualitative research

Galit Ben-Amitay, Eli Buchbinder, Paz Toren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to contribute to the phenomenological understanding of revictimization through metaphors used by women when describing their revictimization experiences. Data were collected through in-depth semistructured interviews with 9 women regarding their repeated sexual victimization. Content analysis focused on metaphors used by the women when describing revictimization. Analysis of the metaphors revealed vulnerability in relation to the self and to interpersonal relationships. The metaphors relating to the self are portrayed through images of imprisonment, homelessness, contamination, and disability. Interpersonal relationships are described through the image of boundaries. These metaphors reflect duality: the profound need for security and the perception of boundaries as limiting and confining. Metaphors can be useful as a heuristic instrument for understanding womens experience of the duality and the contradictions in coping with revictimization, and for intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)914-931
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Issue number8
StatePublished - 14 Sep 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • metaphor
  • qualitative research
  • revictimization
  • sexual abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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