My problem is that my husband changed five years ago; he became violent and he sends me to pay the bills and deal with men, whilst he sits on the Internet. He even forced me to work in a company with men so that I can spend on my children, because he is busy on the Internet. This has led to men harassing me and stalking him and trying to harm me, which has forced me to change my place several times. He has subjected me to physical harm. I know that divorce is something blameworthy, and I know about the hadiths which say that a woman should not ask for divorce except when there is good cause. I have suffered extreme mistreatment from him. Please note that he has forced me into anal intercourse, and I tried to stop him several times. I have given him many chances, but the matter got so bad that when he realised that I have decided to leave him, he contacted my family and his family, and accused me of having unlawful relationships with other men, and he threatened to make horrendous fake pictures of me with young mean and spread them far and wide, which made me hate him very much, for Allah is my witness that I have never committed haraam with anyone, despite all the harassment that I have suffered, and his shortcomings in terms of romance, and the lack of compassion and kindness on his part. Now we are living in a non-Muslim country, and I want a divorce, but he adamantly refuses. I have asked shaykhs about my situation, and they told me that I have the right to seek divorce, but now I am facing a problem, because my husband does not want to divorce me, and in the country where we live, if he does not divorce me, the matter will take a long time, one year or more. The situation in my own country is very bad and I cannot go there to seek divorce there. I am very confused about my situation; what should I do? My question is: can I appoint a shaykh here to arrange my divorce from him, and is it Islamically acceptable for the shaykh to act in the place of a qaadi (judge) and arrange my divorce from him? If it is permissible, then when my ‘iddah ends, will I be free of him, even if officially I am still his wife?