Spiritual Victimology: Basic Principles

Sharon Eytan, Natti Ronel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims to describe the spiritual characteristics of sexual victimization and the recovery journey of survivors via applying spiritual principles, in order to harness the findings for the development of the theory of Spiritual Victimology. Two research questions were asked: what spiritual principles characterize victimization and recovery from it, and how can spiritual perceptions assist survivors? In a phenomenological study, 17 sexual trauma survivors who view their recovery as a spiritual journey, 10 spiritually-oriented therapists, and 9 spiritual leaders were interviewed. Findings show that a unique, victimized self-centeredness characterized sexual trauma, attaching survivors to a victim identity. By applying spiritual principles, the survivors were gradually opened up to love and developed a new, spiritual sense of self, with better inter- and intra-personal connections, as well as a transpersonal one. This connection was perceived as highly important to survivors’ recovery, freeing them from loneliness and isolation, and helping them to restore some order to the chaos which the trauma and its consequences had imposed on their lives.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Early online date8 May 2023
StateE-pub ahead of print - 8 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • PTSD
  • recovery
  • sexual trauma
  • spirituality
  • survivor
  • victim identity
  • victimology


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