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They often use Ephesians (“Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord”) to justify their behavior. 21-33), however, refers to the mutual submission of husband and wife out of love for Christ.
It means that husbands should love their wives as they love their own body, as Christ loves the Church.
In When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women, the Catholic bishops emphasize that “no person is expected to stay in an abusive marriage.” Violence and abuse, not divorce, break up a marriage.
The abuser has already broken the marriage covenant through his or her abusive behavior.
has empowered victims and their families to break the cycle of domestic violence by providing shelter and on-going support services, as well as public awareness and prevention programs.
Violence in any form- physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal is sinful; often it is a crime as well.” (When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women) Domestic violence and the permanence of marriage Some abused women believe that Catholic Church teaching on the permanence of marriage requires them to stay in an abusive relationship. They may fear that they cannot re-marry in the Catholic Church.What’s the difference between normal conflict and domestic violence?Conflict is part of every intimate relationship–that’s why conflict resolution skills are important.Sexual – Includes any sexual acts that are forced on one partner by the other Psychological – Includes a wide range of behaviors such as intimidation, isolating the victim from friends and family, controlling where the victim goes, making the victim feel guilty or crazy, and making unreasonable demands Emotional – Undermining an individual’s self-esteem, constant criticism, insults, put-downs, and name-calling Economic – Examples include limiting the victim’s access to family income, preventing the victim from working or forcing the victim to work, destroying the victim’s property, and making all the financial decisions Characteristics of victims Why do women stay?Women often stay with their abusers because of fear.
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The Catholic bishops condemn the use of the Bible to support abusive behavior in any form. They are to treat each other with dignity and respect. Rather, forgiveness means that the victim decides to let go of the experience, to move on with life and not to tolerate abuse of any kind again.