The lived experience of non-offending fathers whose biological child has been sexually abused




Esquibel, Karen

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The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the lived experiences of non-offending fathers whose biological child has been sexually abused. More specifically, the study sought to carefully explore study participants' feelings, perceptions, and experiences associated with being a father of a sexually abused child. The study was based on the hermeneutic phenomenologic methodology described by van Manen (1990) and Cohen, Kahn, and Steeves (2000).

The study involved a face-to-face, audio-taped, semi-structured interview process consisting of prewritten questions and prompts to facilitate discussion. The interview transcripts were analyzed using van Manen's six research activities, and themes were identified using the concept of lifeworld (Lebenswelt) . The lifeworld existentials explored lived space (spatiality), lived body (corporality), lived time (temporality), and lived human relation (relationality).

Findings revealed these themes: Lived Space (Spatiality) theme: Indignation; Lived Body (Corporality) theme: Sentinel; Lived Human Relation (Relationality) theme: Advocate; and Lived Time (Temporality) theme: Reclamation. The sequence of these themes illustrated a journey of healing the fathers and families traveled that began with anger and ended with reclamation. This journey was similar to the Rando's Six R's model of grief used during an experience of significant loss.



Health and environmental sciences, Child sexual abuse, Fathering, Fathers, Healing, Journey to healing, Nonoffending fathers