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Title: What is a Catholic Response to Spousal Abuse in the Indian Family?
Subtitle: An Ethical Discussion Based on Church Teachings
Author(s): LOURDHU, Jeevaraj
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 15    Issue: 2   Date: 2009   
Pages: 195-213
DOI: 10.2143/INT.15.2.2047107

Abstract :
The article addresses three questions: What is spousal abuse and what are the supportive factors for its prevalence in India? How can one respond to this problem from a Catholic perspective? What are practical suggestions for the eradication of spousal violence? The abuse of women in marital relations is seen as a common phenomenon across ethnic groups, nations and cultures. In some Western cultures, despite freedom, education and efficient social security systems, women are frequently subjected to abuse; at the same time, due to illiteracy, economic dependency and male domination women are abused by their husbands in countries like India. One of the reasons is that women are still considered inferior in society. In this context, the Catholic Church has a great responsibility to address this problem. By analysing Catholic teaching before and after Vatican II, the author welcomes the Church’s condemnation of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and its more recent emphasis on women’s dignity and equality. He argues, however, that the Church still holds some ambiguous positions with regard to the role of women which should be overcome in view of a fuller emancipation of women. The article concludes with some practical suggestions towards the eradication of spousal abuse in the Indian context.

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