Talking about abuse is a distressing topic but one that needs to be talked about if the cycle of emotional violence is going to be stopped and action is taken to prevent it from happening again.
A major issue to contend with in this scenario is that whilst physical violence will provide clear evidence of wrongdoing, emotional violence can leave scars that far harder to see.
This is a problem that family lawyers often have to deal with when helping a victim to get the legal help they need, and the challenge is proving emotional violence.
Here’s a look at ways to prove that emotional violence has taken place and an overview of how evidence can be presented in a way that stands up in court.
Defining emotional abuse
Emotional abuse is usually used by the perpetrator as a way to control their partner.
Exploiting emotions can be extremely manipulative and it takes many forms such as constantly criticizing, shaming the victim on a regular basis, or taking almost every opportunity to blame or embarrass them. All of these actions can have a profound impact on their emotional health.
A constant pattern of using bullying and abusive words can be hugely detrimental to a person’s self-esteem.
It can be very hard for someone outside of the relationship to recognize signs of emotional abuse and even the target of this abuse can sometimes start to doubt their own perceptions of the treatment they are being subjected to.
It is a sad fact that a victim of emotional abuse can often feel isolated and trapped, especially when their confidence has ebbed away and they feel too afraid to call their treatment out or end the relationship.
Proving the abuse in court
There are several ways to gain legal justice and put an end to the abuse and it makes sound sense to talk to a family lawyer who has experience in this field and can guide you through your options.
One way to approach the matter from a legal perspective might be to consider using laws on stalking and harassment as a way of bringing the perpetrator to justice and getting some sort of closure at the same time.
It is clear that proving verbal abuse in a court of law could prove very challenging but there are ways to support a claim of emotional abuse.
A good suggestion is always to document the abuse in any way possible. This means keeping any evidence of text messages and other communications like that which highlight the language used to exert control.
Even if that sort of evidence is not available, the National Domestic Violence Hotline advises keeping a journal where times and dates of incidents are recorded, together with descriptions of any injuries or relevant details.
Any victim of emotional violence should be under no illusions that it will be a difficult legal battle to prove wrongdoing in a court of law, especially when there is no physical evidence, but there is always hope with the right support and legal guidance.