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#682656 - 01/11/11 08:34 PM Re: Hi... [Re: english7]
nolonger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/08
Posts: 305
[quote]According to Virginia law, "16.1-228. "Family abuse" means any act involving violence, force, or threat including, but not limited to, any forceful detention, which results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of bodily injury and which is committed by a person against such person's family or household member."

So threats on one's life count, as does forceful detention. I don't think name calling or insults can be said to be a criminal act/misdemeanor. Emotional abuse is certainly a good reason to leave a spouse, though. [/quote]

If he raised his fist to hit her, that's a bit more than name calling and insults. That IS a threat.

I just wish people would get their head outta their arse when it comes to verbal and emotional abuse! There's a WHOLE lot more going on besides name calling. It's brainwashing and control.

Perhaps you all do have a point, however. A child abductor typically does not get punished for brainwashing and controlling his victim. They get punished for the resulting actions against their vics.

So I suppose I just helped you make your point. Still doesn't mean the law is good enough.

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#682657 - 01/13/11 04:21 PM Re: Hi... [Re: nolonger]
Maury Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/04
Posts: 8182
Loc: This Asylum --->
I am afraid "emotional abuse" is extremely subjective and, to a great extent, an overused and misused term. Often, it describes little more than arguments related to disagreements.

In most cases, threats only become a basis for a restraining order or criminal action if they indicate an imminent threat of actual physical harm.

Did he raised his fist to hit her, or did he raise his fist in anger and shake it in the air in frustration? How the message is sent and how it is received can be very different.

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#682658 - 01/15/11 01:39 AM Re: Hi... [Re: Maury]
english7 Offline

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Registered: 11/27/09
Posts: 3165
"Often, it describes little more than arguments related to disagreements."

What can you back this up with? I lived through true emotional abuse for 18 years. We almost never argued. I now know I was at fault for not leaving him sooner. But during most of the marriage, he had me believing that I was inept at most everything. I stupidly kept trying to show him i was not. Emotional abuse is very real and damaging. It should not be slighted, especially by a lawyer. You should be careful not to use the word "Often" with this.

"In most cases, threats only become a basis for a restraining order or criminal action if they indicate an imminent threat of actual physical harm."

This is very true and is as it should be.

"Did he raised his fist to hit her, or did he raise his fist in anger and shake it in the air in frustration? How the message is sent and how it is received can be very different."

Oh come on! How many "victims" try to pull a fist raised in the air in frustration off as an example of abuse? If they did, no police officer would take them seriously.

No, the kinds of things you mention are not abuse. Maybe I am different than so very many others??? who have been abused in that I did not initiate an argument, argue back when threatened, make any moves toward him, etc. There was only one time when I acted in what I felt was self defense: I was pushed into a walk-in closet and I hit my head so hard on the oak door casing that I couldn't believe how much it hurt. When I stood up, I went into survival mode. I thought I had to fight for my life. He dodged my hand and punched me in the jaw. Then he was sorry. Again.

Well, I'm sorry, Maury, but I can't let your post stand without letting you know that abuse, emotional (which can be absolute torture) or physical, is nothing to scoff at.
When it comes to abuse, many victims are not even able to see it for what it is b/c they believe they are somehow to blame.

Emotional abuse most often accompanies physical. I don't know how to explain it to you in just one little post. But it's very real and very damaging.

My first husband wanted me down as low as he could get me. Then he wanted more. He was not satisfied. He was that insecure and messed up. I stayed strong throughout, so he had to keep trying harder. He nearly extinguished my spirit.

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#682659 - 01/17/11 03:29 PM Re: Hi... [Re: english7]
Maury Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/04
Posts: 8182
Loc: This Asylum --->
I can back it up with 20 years of dealing with such accusations in a myriad of cases. In fact, I recall one particular case where a court entered a restraining order becauise a spouse blocked a door with his arm during an argument and sternly said, "we have to talk about this." Blocking egress was the basis for the entry of the order.

Moreover, as you point out in your post, emotional abuse is subjective. You indicate that you were emotionally abused even though their were no arguments because you were made to feeel inept at things. The impact of your spouse's behavior depends on how it is received and perceived by you. Not every person would have felt the same way.

That is certainly an issue in divorce and one that may be assisted by counseling. It is not abuse from a legal standpoint, nor should it be.

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#682660 - 01/17/11 03:41 PM Re: Hi... [Re: Maury]
nolonger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/08
Posts: 305
Interesting debate with good points on both sides. However, I still believe that lawyers, judges and officers are completely inept at deciphering abuse from claims of abuse because they are totally uneducated on the topic of abuse.

Someone who has been through it and has read expert's books on the topic is much better prepared to make a judgement on "if it's abuse" than someone who has merely "seen" cases related to the topic of abuse.

Maury, I respect your opinion, and I would LOVE it if you could back your opinion with something other than the cases you've seen in court.

Many many true abuse victims either don't know they're abused, get hammered in court, or are afraid of everything - the abuser retaliating, the law turning the tables or not believing them, etc. - and what is seen in court is so far from what goes on behind closed doors.

We MUST educate those professionals in a position to protect us to be able to properly discern abuse from arguements.

Those who perpetuate ignorance are pouring salt in the wounds of victims and survivors.

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#682661 - 01/17/11 03:45 PM Re: Hi... [Re: nolonger]
Maury Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/04
Posts: 8182
Loc: This Asylum --->
Abuse from a legally provable standpoint is one thing. Emotional abuse, which is not a legal issue, is a therapeutic issue.

I have read books on abuse and attended a number of abuse CLE (Continuing Legal Education). Annual classes are required to be a qualified neutral. It does not make emotional abuse legally actionable and I do not believe it should be.

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#682662 - 01/17/11 03:51 PM Re: Hi... [Re: Maury]
nolonger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/15/08
Posts: 305
Thanks for clarifying. I agree with your point, even though I don't like it.

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#682663 - 01/17/11 04:54 PM Re: Hi... [Re: Maury]
english7 Offline

Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 11/27/09
Posts: 3165
"I recall one particular case where a court entered a restraining order becauise a spouse blocked a door with his arm during an argument and sternly said, "we have to talk about this." Blocking egress was the basis for the entry of the order."

If that was the only reason for the RO, someone decided wrongly--or someone lied. Have you had any experience with claims of abuse in which an RO was justified?

"Moreover, as you point out in your post, emotional abuse is subjective. You indicate that you were emotionally abused even though their were no arguments because you were made to feeel inept at things. The impact of your spouse's behavior depends on how it is received and perceived by you. Not every person would have felt the same way."

There was really not much subjectivity to my emotional abuse. Lots of people saw it. His own father was contacted, and he explained how bad it was. We divorced with the grounds of cruel and inhumane treatment. That was not a misdemeanor, however. Only a masochist would think that sort treatment was okay, so you're reaching a bit on that.

My take on your perceptions is that you have become jaded. You attend classes on abuse, but they cover the legal aspects of it. You don't seem to care about the very real suffering that some go through. I'm glad you were not my lawyer.

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#682664 - 01/17/11 06:25 PM Re: Hi... [Re: english7]
Maury Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/04
Posts: 8182
Loc: This Asylum --->
First, I never said the treatment was Okay. What I said was that it is not actionable because of its subjective nature. I have no doubt your emotional turmoil was genuine. That does not mean the term "emotional abuse" is not overused or even abused by those who would seek to benefit from it.

I am sorry that you had a difficult time.

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#682665 - 01/17/11 07:16 PM Re: Hi... [Re: Maury]
english7 Offline

Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 11/27/09
Posts: 3165
"That does not mean the term "emotional abuse" is not overused or even abused by those who would seek to benefit from it."

I have little doubt that it is abused by some, but isn't the opposing attorney supposed to root out that sort of thing? I mean, if an RO is ordered for the kinds of behaviors you mentioned, isn't the court in some way responsible? That they allow such things only perpetuates the problem.

"I am sorry that you had a difficult time."

Thanks for that, Maury. You have redeemed yourself in my eyes ;)

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