The Experience of Disgust in Women Exposed to Domestic Violence in Turkey

Akça, Seray
Gençöz, Faruk
In trauma, fear as a basic emotion that evokes avoidance after exposure to a traumatic event is important for posttraumatic process. Another emotion causing avoidance is disgust. Despite the fact that disgust also plays an important role in trauma, there is limited information about how it is experienced during and after exposure to the traumatic event. In this study, the aim was to understand how women experience disgust during and after domestic violence, as a prolonged and repeated traumatic experience, and how they try to cope with disgust evoking situations in this process. For this aim, qualitative methodology was used. With purposive sampling, six women exposed to domestic violence including physical, verbal and sexual abuse were interviewed. With each woman, approximately seven semi-structured interviews were completed. Forty-one interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. Data was analyzed by Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. At the end of the analysis, three superordinate themes, namely, experience of perpetrator-directed disgust with gustatory expressions of moral disgust and association of disgust in domestic abuse to daily life experiences; experience of self-disgust with two themes of internalization of assault without awareness and contamination by sexual abuse; coping with disgust in domestic violence with four subthemes, namely, avoidance from perpetrator, reidentification of the perpetrator with substitutive identity, alienation from self, reidentification of self with new relationships were constructed. Results showed that disgust is experienced in a repressed way as a result of the aversive nature of traumatic experience. The results were evaluated in psychological, social and cultural contexts. Their implications for understanding disgust in domestic violence were discussed.
Journal of Interpersonal Violence


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Citation Formats
S. Akça and F. Gençöz, “The Experience of Disgust in Women Exposed to Domestic Violence in Turkey,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, pp. 0–0, 2021, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: