One reason that stops people from leaving relationships that are damaging is religion. Catholics and other conservative religions look down on divorce. They may go so far as to prevent a divorced person from getting remarried in the religion, effectively cutting them off from social ties.
Yet views are starting to change. Pope Francis has declared that, in some cases, “separation” may be morally necessary. For instance, if the safety of the woman or the children is at stake, that may make the separation inevitable.
The Catholic Church does not recognize divorce, but does honor church-sanctioned annulments. However, even an annulled marriage can leave a social stigma. The Pope's remarks may give hope to Catholic marriages marred by domestic violence or emotional abuse.
The long-term effects of abuse are well-known. People die every year at the hands of abusers, or suffer from serious mental illness. If you are in an abusive relationship and you recognize it, you should do everything in your power to separate, including seeking a divorce. Don't let fear lock you away. Pick up the phone and call someone for help, whether it is the police, a battered person's shelter, or a divorce lawyer.
If you want help finding assistance and you live in Washington state, call Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC for a free and confidential consultation.