Can Someone Go to Jail for Verbal Abuse?

closeup woman sitting on sofa with folded hands

Some people think that for abuse to be punishable, it has to be physical. That’s why many use hurtful words, thinking that they will get away with it. However, verbal abuse is as traumatizing as physical abuse, and it causes emotional and psychological distress.

It is also considered a form of domestic violence, and it includes name-calling, slander, bullying, and other cruel words that are hard to heal from.

If you don’t know whether your verbal abuser would go to jail or not, continue reading to understand the different incidents that you should report to the police, and when to involve a lawyer.

Apprehended Violence Orders

In some cases, you may not know what to tell the police when they arrive because you don’t know what category your situation falls under.

If you are afraid for your safety because someone is intimidating you verbally through phone calls, text messages, or in person, the police may make you fill an application for Apprehended Violence Order (AVO). This application involves orders as assault, molestation, threats, and intimidation.

The person who intimidates another should know that they are committing an offense because inducing fear in others is an inhumane thing to do. This includes stalking, repeatedly contacting someone against their wishes, and blackmailing.

The problem is that sometimes people don’t know the consequences of their words and whether they induce fear or not. That’s why it’s hard to draw the line between what is intimidating and what is considered a joke.

The police will decide whether to consider the intimidation serious or not by listening to what was said and the context in which it was said. However, the history of the relationship plays an important role in the final court decision.

The physical strength of both people is also put into consideration because some threats are meaningless if they are coming from the weaker person and won’t hold up in court.

Another aspect is the history of the violent behavior of the defendant because these people sometimes have obvious patterns of violence.

If the accused person wants the court to drop the case, they have to tell their side of the story in a way that will make them look innocent.

Building a Case Against the Abuser

Building a case against a verbal abuser is not easy because you will be required to present a pattern and explain that the emotional injuries are severe enough. Since there are no rules or conditions that validate a case, you will have to find other aspects to support your claim.

It can be hard to accomplish that, especially if you live under the same roof as your abuser.

You will have to tolerate further pain until an officer is convinced that your situation falls under verbal abuse. The court will also analyze the words to see whether a mentally fit person will be traumatized by them or not. The help of a professional therapist may be needed as well.

Domestic abuse should not be tolerated, whether you are being humiliated by your parents, partner, or other family members.

That’s why the New Jersey-based attorneys at recommend seeking legal assistance to build a strong case as fast as possible and get out of the devastating situation you are in.

After an arrest is made by the police, the evidence gathered by your lawyer can convince the local prosecutor to move forward with the case.

Offensive Words

verbal abuse examples

Another form of verbal abuse is the use of offensive words that cause disgust or resentment. This used to be an offense if someone was heard swearing near a public place. However, nowadays, this is different because almost everyone uses swear words in everyday conversations, even in the media.

That is why it has become hard to pin down the offensive language used unless their impact is severe on the victim. Some of the words that cannot be tolerated are the racist remarks and insults that are still publicly used with disregard to the feelings of people who have been bullied for years. Even though the defendant may be subjected to penalties, serving jail time may not be an option.

Pursuing Personal Injury Claim

In case you are truly suffering from verbal abuse, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim. You will get compensation for the money you paid for the lawyers, therapists, and to compensate you for your pain and suffering.

This is possible when you can prove that the abuse was ongoing for a long time. You will also have to show that all of the humiliation or threats were intentional to make your case stronger.

Some people self-harm by doing drugs, drinking, or even cutting themselves to escape the pain that is being inflicted on them by their abuser. You should seek professional help and ask your psychiatrist to testify and explain the extent of the damage to your mental health because of the verbal abuse that you have been subjected to.

Unfortunately, sometimes when you try to claim compensation through a personal injury claim, your abuser may not go to jail. This is because the court will consider that you are accepting money in return for the defendant’s freedom.

That is why you should be sure of your decision before pursuing compensation and whether you will feel safer when they are behind bars or if you have a huge amount of money.

No one should tolerate any kind of abuse. Each and every one of us must be mindful of their words and the effect they have on others. The pain we cause others, even if it’s just by joking, is considered verbal abuse.

We need to take a stand and educate people on the different kinds of abuse and their consequences. If you are being subjected to verbal abuse and you don’t know how to take legal action, the above guide will help you understand your situation better and walk you through the steps you need to take to make sure the abuser is punished for their behavior.

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