Awareness of guilt and shame in intimate violence.Violence Vict. 1997 Winter; 12(4):307-22.VV
The purpose of this article is to examine the role of moral feelings--guilt and shame--in the emergence and aftermath of intimate violence, and the way in which these emotions affect the self and behaviors of those involved. This is a phenomenological study using content analysis of in-depth interviews with 20 male batterers and their female partners. The findings indicate that the extent of authenticity and assumption of responsibility concerning moral feelings will determine whether these will or will not lead to intimate violence. Thus it becomes possible to trace five alternative paths of the relationship between moral feelings and intimate violence. Implications for theorizing and future research about the role of moral feelings in intimate violence are suggested.