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Getting divorce better than enduring toxic vibes at home, says child of divorced couple

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MANILA, Philippines — For a child of a separated couple, divorce is better than having a “toxic environment” at home.

This is what chairperson of youth organization Maya: The Feminist Collective Kana Takahashi shared Tuesday at the Senate hearing on the proposed divorce law.

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“I myself is a child whose parents got divorced abroad when she was little. I know what it is like to go through the process. There is no question that divorce is hard for us kids, but it is better than raising their children in a violent, abusive, angry or deeply resentful marriage,” Takahashi said.

“Here are a few words, not ours but from children of separated parents. If keeping a family together means domestic violence, lack of family support, substance abuse, infidelity and health and financial incapacity, then I don’t want it. It is better to get a divorce than to stay in a toxic family environment,” she added.

While Takahashi acknowledged the perspective of religious groups on the matter, she said stressed ending marital relationships is not exactly the “end of religious faith.”

“Divorce is a legal mechanism for ending marital relationships. That is it. It is not the breakdown of families. It is not the decline of morals. It is not the end of religious faith,” Takahashi said.

“Naiintindihan din namin ang panig ng mga mula sa Katoliko at tradisyunal na pamumuhay. But we are a secular state. Sabi mismo ng Konstitusyon na ang estado muna ang may awtoridad na mamuno para sa buong bansa, and not religious groups,” she added.

Divorce can also have a positive impact on those involved, Takahashi said, citing a doctor she regarded as one of the best mental health professionals in the country.

“One of the best mental health professionals here in the Philippines, Dr. Del Castillo noted that divorce an have a positive impact on happiness,” Takahashi said.

“It is true that divorce can make you less happy but this is temporary. Research shows that in the long term, you become happier and overall psychologically healthier after divorce,” she continued./ac

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