Annulment and Spousal Abuse

I am a Catholic and I support annulment. Yes, I would like to include the perception of my religion as I talk my stand of having to approve annulment, since it has been a long discussion in the eyes of the church regarding marriage and separation.

Now, for starters, I would like to make it clear the definition of annulment –a brief discussion. Annulment is the process of achieving a declaration of nullity of the marriage by the court or the church. Let us be aware of having two very similar but distinct type of annulment in our country and that is Church Annulment and Civil Annulment. Technically, both cancels the legality of marriage. However, Church annulment process is very tasking, it will take you at least 10 years and involve multiple trials. In the eyes of the church, you have to prove by tribunal investigation that your marriage lacked at least one of the five essential elements before vows were exchanged. The grounds are very similar to Civil/Court Annulment, that there even has a bill from the Congress attempting to recognize annulments on church allowed for automatic civil registration of the Church Annulment, but was refused to be adopted by the Senate due to the constitutional principle of separating the church and the state.

Here is where I take my position. I support the idea of nullifying a marriage, but I do not entirely agree upon the grounds it requires to be achieved, both by the church and the court. Let it be known that both grounds do not include physical or spousal abuse as basis for annulment. I do not understand why this violence is dismissed given the statistical facts that on the preliminary results from the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey, in Caraga Region –at least, 52% if married women experience physical, sexual and emotional violence. And that increased in statistics by lockdown. In Quezon City on the other hand, the previous weekly domestic abuse report increased from five –pre-pandemic, to an alarming count of twelve by lockdown. Why do they grant nullification of a marriage over a petition of a husband on the wife who became addicted in playing mahjong and inordinately vising the beauty parlor, but not for a battered husband or wife? (Kalaw vs. Fernandez, GR No 166357, 14 January 2015, 745 SCRA 512, 554;).

I came in terms with the fact that this matter is never limited in the eyes of my religion, and I am taught to perceive things without bias, and thus I would like to make emphasis of what I have mentioned. As a student of Social Studies as well, I can clearly see the shortcomings of Annulment, especially in this poor country. Annulment can even cost up as high as a hundred thousand pesos. But even so I believe, marriage needs to end when it involves abuse by any form. Yes, psychological incapacity is a reason too, so as fraud, and all the other existing grounds for the process, but why not include violence? Do we allow a partner be beaten daily because they are not to legally declare their separation? Why are we so loud with crimes involving death, but not with the likes that leads to it? Would you prefer letting an individual live on the same roof with someone that causes them pain by any form? I do not. And thus, this is where my stand lies.

References:

https://psa.gov.ph/.../one-four-women-have-ever...

https://www.ucanews.com/.../domestic-violence-all.../89821

https://www.hg.org/.../top-5-faqs-about-annulment-in-the...

https://www.legalzoom.com/.../whats-the-legal-difference...

Social Studies student that hopes to share her thoughts of the society and the world.