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Gender-Based Violence and Christianity: Catholic Prevention of Divorce Traps Women in an Abusive Marriage
Authors: John Simister, and Grazyna Kowalewska
Source: Psychology, 7(13): 1624-1644 ; DOI: 10.4236/psych.2016.713155
Topic(s): Gender-based violence (GBV)
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Country: More than one region
  Multiple Regions
Published: NOV 2016
Abstract: This paper reports evidence on Gender-Based Violence (GBV), violence against women by husband or male partner, based on household surveys from many countries. A woman’s risk of experiencing domestic violence varies, within a country and between countries, for many reasons. This paper focuses on religion: in particular, comparing Catholics with Protestants. It reports evidence that Catholic women have a higher risk of GBV than Protestant women. A possible explanation for this higher risk is investigated: the ban on divorce by the Catholic Church. Household surveys confirm that Catholics are less likely than Protestants to divorce. Divorce is a possible escape-route for a woman abused by her husband; preventing divorce keeps many women trapped in marriage to a violent husbandKEYWORDS Gender-Based Violence, Catholic, Protestant, Divorce