Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 229–248 | Cite as

The Process of Recovery and Rebuilding among Abused Women in the Conservative Evangelical Subculture

  • Norman Giesbrecht
  • Irene Sevcik


This study utilized a naturalistic methodology to develop a “grounded theory” of the process of recovery and rebuilding among abused women situated in the conservative evangelical subculture. Among all the women, spirituality and church participation were an integral part of their identity and generated culture-specific issues that needed to be addressed in therapy. The women's faith functioned as a meaning-making framework that could either engender shame and guilt or inspire hope and empower transformative change. The church functioned as an extended family system that could minimize, deny, and enable abuse or provide much-needed social support, spiritual encouragement, and practical assistance. The recovery process required that these women rebuild their personal and spiritual identity, redefine their relationship with the religious community, and find ways of expressing their new identity within the religious subculture.

recovery abused women conservative evangelical subculture spirituality 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman Giesbrecht
    • 1
  • Irene Sevcik
    • 2
  1. 1.Postdoctoral fellow (Psychology)University of British ColumbiaUK
  2. 2.Discovery HouseCalgary

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