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Australian Law 101: What Is Verbal Abuse?

Illustration for article titled Australian Law 101: What Is Verbal Abuse?

When people say abuse, you would normally think of bruises, broken bones and open wounds. However, there are some instances that trauma is induced by verbal actions. These actions could include name-calling, rumours, descriptions of gruesome situations and many other similar activities.

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Your words bear more weight than you think they do. They carry enough power to cause psychological and emotional distress and trauma. There are times that words can send an individual to years of therapy to resolve the emotional pain from verbal mistreatment.

Not everyone can recover from the things they hear. In some cases, words can push a person to commit self-harm.

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Building a Case for Verbal Abuse

Illustration for article titled Australian Law 101: What Is Verbal Abuse?
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As dangerous as verbal abuse may be, it is hard to build a case for verbal abuse. For example, a lawyer may not show interest in a verbal abuse case unless the injuries to feelings are extensive.

Also, no specific rule is established as to how abusive the words and language spoken to the victim should be. There should be an adequate amount of facts and evidence surrounding the situation that assists in determining if the abuse is enough to seek compensation or litigation.

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The words or language used would be extensively analysed by the court to determine how distressful they are to the average person with sound reason.

How to Sue for Infliction of Emotional and Psychological Damage

Illustration for article titled Australian Law 101: What Is Verbal Abuse?
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First of all, there are some elements that you need to prove before you can claim verbal assault. Proving these elements make the case worth pursuing by a lawyer.

You should be able to prove that the verbal abuse is an intentional act of using abusive, insulting or offensive words. These words can include lewd to foul language.

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If it is proven that the words directed at the victim are, in fact, abusive in any way— it should be proven that the words are unreasonable and outrageous to the intended target. The next requirement is to prove that the abuser knows that the verbal assault against the victim would cause a negative impact that can lead to illness or self-harm.

The last but not the least element is proving that the victim has suffered emotional or psychological distress due to verbal abuse directed at him/her.

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How to Claim Emotional Intimidation due to Verbal Assault

Illustration for article titled Australian Law 101: What Is Verbal Abuse?
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What if the only crime committed or provable is the verbal abuse itself? It is still possible to file a claim for verbal assault even if it is an only crime committed. But keep in mind that many states have no preference for this single issue without any accompanying action or criminal activity.

It is easier to claim for verbal abuse if another form of assault has taken place. There are cases wherein the victim may have been the targeted individual for battery, false imprisonment, defamation or similar issues related to these matters.

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In some states, verbal assault is not an actionable crime which results in not determining the attack to be valid. So even if you have a lawyer to back you up, the court may demand something else to consider your claim.

What is Abusive Language?

Illustration for article titled Australian Law 101: What Is Verbal Abuse?
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The court has to determine if the abuse sustained by the victim is enough for demanding compensation to injury. In this regard, one must know or understand what is considered an abusive language. Since words are used to perform the assault, the language used matters greatly in the proceedings. Verbal threats are equivalent to the potential for assault.

A verbal threat can make the targeted individual feel like they are in danger. If the words used are not threats but are meant to humiliate the subject— then they are considered as offensive. Racial slurs, sexual slurs and scandalous statements are considered as grounds for a claim.

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The Final Takeaway

When an individual has been a target of verbal abuse or if a certain person is consistently the party that sustains psychological or emotional damage in the ordeal, then there may be a grounds for making a claim.

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However, if it is proven that both parties have been mutually abusive to each other, then both parties may not be able to claim anything for the abuse they have received from each other. In most cases, only one person should be permitted to sue the other. However, if there is any evidence to provide a visual for the jury and/or judge— then a stronger case may be built.

Any illness or physical signs of the assault can show how the victim suffered and why they must be able to claim for the abuse. Since verbal abuse is a complicated case to build, you should definitely get a lawyer for assistance. The elements involved in building a verbal abuse case is difficult without a professional by your side.

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