a domestic violence advocate answers

cross posted at lds wave

dear ask a feminist,

my husband and i were married in the temple over eight years ago. i hold a calling teaching relief society. my testimony is strong, but painfully damaged. to make a long story short. my husband is addicted to pornography and has been physically, verbally, financially and emotionally abusive. not to mention treats me like an object. my efforts with six bishops in eight years has been disappointing. my husband has even admitted some things to these bishops and yet he still has not ever been even put on church probation. one bishop gave him a calling and a temple recommend, but them the stake president refused to sign it. especially the last three bishops are disappointing as they know he has now been arrested for domestic violence and yet they have continued to do nothing. my husband consistently intimidates me and the children with scary anger and threats. my husband is a full tithe payer and goes to church every week, but does nothing at all to change. does the money protect his position and lack of action? he sleeps through church and if awake says prayers and makes intellectual scriptural based comments. these comments make me cringe considering the way he treated me that day and nearly every day. talk about feeling unequal. even our Heavenly Father punishes us and we as parents punish our children. not because we want to see them miserable, but because we are trying to facilitate or motivate a change. i have been blamed by his parents and by bishops. i have been asked if I am “taking care of his needs” when discussing his pornography usage. there are so many more details. i feel beaten down and want to leave him, but i haven’t worked in six years. i have an accounting degree, but i am afraid that i might lose my children if i can’t get a job and provide for them. i have gone to weekly counseling for two years now to get stronger. i’m assured, by my counselor, that i am not even depressed, just dealing with a lot. so why does this treatment of me not make sense? why are the bishops leaving all the consequences up to me. like if i don’t like it then leave him mentality. i feel neglected and unsupported. is there something in the bishop’s handbook about allowing this behavior?

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