Understanding Forgiveness After Leaving an Abusive Relationship : The Voices of Chinese Female Intimate Partner Violence Survivors

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2273–2293
Number of pages21
Journal / PublicationViolence Against Women
Issue number12-13
Online published2 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


Forgiveness is known to play an important role in recovery studies of female intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors. However, survivors’ understanding of forgiveness remains unclear. This study explored forgiveness through semi-structured interviews with 25 Chinese women. The results indicate that forgiveness is an unintended process that comprises the alleviation of a grudge held against former partners and a reframed understanding of them. It does not involve reconciliation. Moreover, establishment of clear boundaries is a precondition for forgiveness. The findings supplement knowledge on forgiveness and the importance of cognitive reframing, emotion regulation, and establishing clear boundaries in forgiveness and recovery.

Research Area(s)

  • intimate partner violence, female IPV survivors, recovery, forgiveness, establishing boundaries