This study focused on the emotional abuse suffered by victims, who were professional women, within a marriage or a cohabitating relationship. Researcher made use of various sources to obtain data concerning the phenomenon of emotional abuse and its context within domestic violence. Several components of various theoretical perspectives were utilised to design an explanatory model, the Interactional model of the process of victimisation by an emotionally abusive partner, to direct the research and to interpret the data. Researcher made use of non-probability sampling strategy. All respondents were selected by means of the snowball and purposive sampling methods. The sample consisted of 11 professional women who came from professions that belong to a governing body, such as medical doctors, dentists, psychologists, attorneys, teachers and a veterinarian. The sample consisted of women of various age groups who were in abusive relationships for periods ranging from five to 27 years, therefore providing a wide range within the research sample. Researcher did case analyses of the different backgrounds of both the victims and their abusers, made possible from information obtained from the respondents during in-depth interviews. This was done in order to reach a holistic understanding of the dynamics within these relationships and the victimisation process throughout the duration of these relationships. Against this background, researcher was better able to analyse and interpret the data obtained from the respondents, with the use of the Interactional model of the process of victimisation by an emotionally abusive partner, and various other authors. A rich and insightful understanding of the phenomenon of emotional abuse within the lives of these professional women was reached. The research concludes with a number of recommendations for the healing process of the victims of emotional abuse and recommendations for further research. Researcher also makes several conclusions based on findings from the interviews conducted with respondents in this study.
Dissertation (MA (Criminology))--University of Pretoria, 2006.