Divorced people in Ireland complain of stigma

Family|February 4th 2015

Half of all divorcees living in the Republic of Ireland say they face social stigma, a new study reports.

In research conducted to mark the 20th anniversary of the divorce referendum in Ireland, the website Separation.ie polled individuals on their experiences when their marriages ended. No less than 45 per cent said social stigma surrounding divorce is still widespread in the country, while 52 per cent said they felt isolated and lonely.

Some of respondents said they had encountered derogatory comments after telling people they were divorce, and had had to endure “looks of disgust”. Women were more likely than men to say they felt “pitied” and that other married women saw them as a threat to their marriages.

The majority of those who had gone through a divorce said they had been most worried about the reaction of their children, with financial concerns a close second.

One respondent told the researchers:

“People judge you on your status and make you feel a failure, especially if there are kids involved.”

The referendum of 1995 saw the repeal of a prohibition on divorce in the country.

Photo of Dublin by Philip Milne via Flickr

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