Mental abuse, also known as psychological abuse, is an aspect of many different crimes and civil legal claims. It generally involves cyclical, repeated patterns where one person uses threats, intimidation, or abusive language and behavior against another person. A person generally engages in this behavior in order to place themselves in a position of superiority or dominance over the other person.
Examples of mental abuse include: yelling or screaming at the person; using lies or deception to gain from the person, especially financially; using demeaning language towards the person; using various discriminatory terms, such as ethnic slurs or gender stereotypes; or using threats of physical abuse. In some cases, mental abuse is found in combination with patterns of physical harm and threats of physical harm.
When Can I Sue for Mental Abuse?
Large numbers of mental abuse cases go unreported each year. This can happen because the person is either unaware that they are being mentally abused, or they are afraid to file a report. However, there are laws designed to protect and compensate people who have suffered losses or injury due to mental abuse:
- Domestic violence, spousal abuse, and other family law claims
- Professional malpractice (these often involve more psychological manipulation for economic gain rather than threats or insults)
- Nursing home abuse cases and elder abuse laws
- Workplace harassment situations
Generally speaking, it is easier to win a mental abuse lawsuit if you can prove that you experienced a manifestation of physical symptoms due to the abuse such as heart problems induced by the stress of the abuse. Also, it will help your case if you are able to show that you experienced financial losses due to the abuse. Lastly, you should create written accounts of the individual incidents of abuse and gather any information, evidence or testimony related to the claim.
What Are Some Legal Remedies for Mental Abuse?
Some common legal remedies for mental abuse may include:
- Monetary damages, which are intended to cover expenses such as medical costs and lost wages
- Restraining orders or injunctions that require the abuser to maintain a certain physical distance from the victim
- In an employment/harassment, context, various work-related remedies such as a reinstatement to one’s position at work
- Criminal charges for serious abuse cases
Remedies will depend on each individual case as well as state laws. As previously mentioned, many mental abuse lawsuits also involve other legal issues as well, which means that remedies will also depend on any other issues involved.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Mental Abuse Legal Claims?
Mental or psychological abuse is a serious legal issue. It is often an element in many different types of legal cases. You may need to hire a personal injury lawyer near you if you have any legal issues or conflicts that involve mental abuse. Your attorney can provide you with the type of legal advice and research that is needed to help you with your case. Also, if you need to file a lawsuit and appear in court, your attorney can provide representation in a court of law.