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.
- qualitative research
- sexual abuse