Forgive or not the Abuser? Forgiveness Among Women Victims of Domestic Violence
1Université de Toulouse, France
2Instituto Tecnologico de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
3Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, France
Background: Domestic violence is frequently studied, yet, questions concerning its causes and consequences still remain to be elucidated. Previous findings suggest that the degree to which women are willing to forgive their abuser plays a significant role in their intention to remain in a relationship. This study employed the Functional Theory of Cognition to address this matter. Methods: 100 female victims expressed their willingness to forgive an abuser while judging 48 scenarios. Six between-subject factors were studied: couple commitment, aggression context, type of abuse, the abused woman’s response, recurrence of the abuse and presence of apologies. Results: factorial ANOVAS evidenced a significant effect of four factors: type of abuse, the abused woman’s reaction, recurrence of the abuse and presence of apologies. A cluster analysis evidenced three groups of participants: those that never forgive, those that always forgive and those that forgive while considering the same factors as the total sample. Discussion: Findings contribute to the understanding of domestic violence victims’ decision making processes which can be crucial for their health and well-being.