Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology

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The Lived Experiences of Mothers whose Children were Sexually Abused by Their Intimate Male Partners

Gertie Pretorius, Audrey Chauke, Brandon Morgan


Child sexual abuse is a global phenomenon that affects many families and appears to be increasing dramatically in South Africa. The literature on child sexual abuse focuses mainly on the victims and perpetrators while largely ignoring the experiences of non-offending mothers. The objective of this study was to explore the lived experiences of mothers whose children were sexually abused by their intimate male partners. Existential phenomenology was employed in the study, and Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six-phase thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. The results indicate that the participants experienced  emotions similar to those following loss including disbelief, anger, guilt, depression, trust and blame.

Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, Volume 11, Edition 1 May 2011, 11-24
AJOL African Journals Online