I would have never guessed that such cases do really exist. How could a priest treat his wife like a slave? Although he is not functioning as a priest any more, yet he was trained and lived as a priest (in public) for many years. Technically he is still a priest because once a priest is always a priest. How can one explain such barbarism with a fragile woman? We are looking to our honest and mature readers in order to receive their kind feedback. Is there a human rights’ lawyer amongst our readers?

It’s very easy to pass judgement. It’s harder to help and try to win this difficult situation. As adults in faith we are obliged to help first and foremost. Hopefully it will serve as an eye opener for other women.

My name is Patricia. I did not have high education and worked with my family since I was 16 years old. Lately we had financial difficulties.

I decided to search for a man on the internet. A man (Lawrence) contacted me. He wanted to marry me. He promised me a better life. He promised to take me to several exotic places. A friend I knew called me and told me about Lawrence. He knew about him and consequently I trusted Lawrence more.

Lawrence sent in all the papers necessary for marriage to my country. I still had some doubts but Lawrence would every time assure me of a better life.

Because of his compelling words and my own dreams to have a good and happy family life, I made the biggest mistake in my life and agreed to book the marriage at the Registration office to get married.

We finally got married. On our wedding night he wanted to sleep saying that he was tired. The second day was the same. I understood that he was not interested in me as a women. He acted like he was afraid of me or he was never before together with a women. I asked him why and he told me that he was a Catholic Priest for a long time and never had any sexually contact with a women, so he needed time and my help too.

I believed what he said and trusted him, but every time he was angry and would shout at me. There was always a reason to be angry at me.

One day after coming back home he said that the following day he was going back to his country!!

I asked about myself. He said that I would go at a later date.

I didn’t hear anything from Lawrence. i tried to contact him on the internet but he did not reply. Finally he replied on a certain date. The message was devastating. He asked me to go to the Registration office and ask for the cancellation of the marriage!!

If we wanted to cancel the marriage we had to go to the Court and ask for divorce. But Lawrence does not want a divorce. He wants me to go to the Registration Office and delete the Marriage certificate.

Every day I cried and begged him not to ask that from me because it was very difficult to stay alone and with my family relatives asking so many questions about ‘us’.

Then Lawrence agreed to let me visit his country but I had to promise him to obey him and to work hard.

I went to his country. His brother and wife picked me up from the Airport and I stayed with them until Lawrence arrived, as he was abroad.

Soon I discovered that his house seemed like a Guest House because people from all around the world used to come and stay free of charge. He drove them all around the island, going to the beaches and restaurants, while I was not permitted to join them and had to go for work and take care of the guest house and host all visitors.

He did not allow me to call my family and shouted to me not to call them nor to talk with them. This was the start of more bad things. He wanted me to work and he found me a job as a dish and pot washer in a beach restaurant.

I worked 7 hours a day, it was hard and heavy work and one morning I could hardly move due to pain in my back, but Lawrence forced me to go for work.
I worked again for 5 hours, but my back hurt me a lot and I couldn’t work any more. Lawrence became devilish to me…screaming, cussing and he beat me. It was the first time since I was with him.

Every day he had women from different countries in his house and he wanted me to host them. He brought the women saying that it was their house and they could enjoy themselves.

Myself, as his legal wife, he always said not to touch this, and not to use that, not to use water or hot water, electricity etc…

He founded another restaurant where I had to work (cleaning dishes and pots for 6 hours a day). It was a very hard job for me, but Lawrence forced me to work and he would not allow me to stay at home while he was enjoying him self with the women guests in his house, he drove them around and accompanied them to beaches where they swam. With the meagre pay I received I had to buy the Grocery
for home.

Many times he ate from his mother’s or friends’ and from restaurants’ while I stayed at home, hungry and with no money to buy food. But to his guests he wanted me to pretend that I was a happy wife.

When I lost my second job, Lawrence was very angry again and he said “if you do not go to work i will bring you men to have sex with them to earn money!”. I immediately refused and promised him that he would do that, than I would readily commit a suicide as I was not a prostitute.

Lawrence brought me to a cleaning company to work for 4 hours per day in a Bank. I was very happy with that job but he wasn’t because he wanted me to me to work full time.

With the money I earned he forced me to buy foods and everything needed in
a household.

Besides, during my work, Lawrence always guided me outside the house and told me not to talk with other people. Once he saw me talking with a neighbour. He was furious and warned me again not to talk with other people outside his house.

All the time I was there he wanted me to visit his parents and spend time with them but no one else. Lawrence expected a lot from me, I had to obey him and to take care of him. I had to hand him the money I earned. But he did nothing for me nor to make my life better. He gave me lots of hopes and promises before our marriage, but they were all empty promises.

Lawrence told me that he had a friend in another country and they needed someone to look after their disabled child. I was not happy to go to another country and to look after a disabled child. I came to his country because he married me,
but he did not want to treat me as his wife.

He said again that if I earned enough money I could stay in his house, if not, I had to pack up and go back to my country.

I dared warn him that if he would not treat me as his wife, then I wanted to divorce him. He told me that I had to pay for a lawyer. He beat me again. Lawrence always warned me not to talk with his neighbours, nor to his brother and wife or his parent what was really going on between us.

I lost the cleaning job at the Bank because I asked for a full time job. In the meantime I met a lady Doctor. She said that her cousin needed someone to clean dishes and pots in his restaurant. It was a part time job again. Lawrence did not want me to stay in his home doing a part time job. Incredibly he
not earn the amount of money he demanded from me!!

Lawrence threatened me to put me on the streets. He offered me the solution of going back to my country. If not, he would kill me!!!

My marriage with Lawrence took place in a cloud of lies, manipulations and
force. Now he is refusing to grant me a divorce.

Lawrence has a reputation, as a priest, of being a pillar of society. [Officially he has left priesthood now]. He vows to serve as a man of God and help people in need..whenever they are in need. Actually it seems that he was helping himself in order to have a decent living from the proceeds of his fund raising.

In the mean time, with his own hand he had turned me into an ‘Orphan’ because of his unreasonable treatment towards me. I’m his legal wife. He married me under false pretences and have treated me like a piece of scum ever since.

His marriage duty bounded him to look after me, his legal wife…to take care of me in good and bad times and to take care my body and soul.

Since the end of 2015 I haven’t heard anything from Lawrence. I am desperate and do not know what to do. I can’t pay a lawyer to help me with the Divorce. I can’t go back to Lawrence’s country for problems with visa. He destroyed my life and made me the outcast of the village. I live here in my country as a registered married women. Consequently I can’t start a new relation without a divorce.

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