The indirect victim's experience of suicide and the victimisation resulting from the incident was studied. The Indirect Victim's Experience Model of a Suicide Incident (see Figure 2.1) was designed as a theoretical framework to direct the research findings and for the interpretation of data. A qualitative exploratory approach was used and a group of 20 respondents was selected by means of purposive and snowball sampling methods. All the respondents were interviewed personally. The interpretation and analysis of the data showed that the assumptions based on Janoff-Bulman and Frieze's theory and certain societal myths regarding suicide still exist. These assumptions and myths could subconsciously have an influence on the nature and extent of the victimisation experienced by the next of kin. The respondents themselves accepted these assumptions and myths. Research findings further showed that these assumptions are affected upon receiving the news of the suicide, while myths are destroyed. This could have an influence on the victim's experience of suicide. Every indirect victim functions before, during and after the suicide incident within a specific family and social system. The way in which the indirect victim experiences the support and integration from within the family and social system, determines the acceptance or non-acceptance of the death by suicide of a significant other. This will also have an influence on the indirect victim's reintegration into society in the short and long term. The need of the indirect victim to be involved within a family and society was clearly identified during the study. These findings made it possible to make practical recommendations with regard to the indirect victim's experience of suicide. Society should be informed about the realities and results of suicide. In addition, these findings highlighted further areas for research.
Thesis (MA (Criminology))--University of Pretoria, 2004.