Is Emotional Abuse A Crime In Utah?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Unfortunately, the answer is not as clear-cut as the question. Although courts, laws, and the legal system itself are doing a better job of acknowledging emotional abuse to prevent it. Emotional abuse is a subset of psychological abuse and can also be referred to as “mental abuse” or even “psychological violence.” It can be roughly defined as subjecting or exposing someone to behavior that can lead to trauma, anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.

When we think of emotional abuse, we often see images in our head of people yelling at each other, calling harsh names, and being unduly rude or short-tempered. Although it is not necessarily illegal to frequently call someone a hurtful word, emotional abuse can be used as evidence to show other crimes. Below are a couple of examples.

When emotional abuse can lead to criminal charges.

Child endangerment or elder abuse:  The law puts extra protections on society members that will typically have more challenging times defending themselves. In the case of children, the law typically makes it illegal to conduct behavior that unjustifiably causes mental suffering to a minor. The same principle can be more or less applied to the elderly and can be considered elder abuse.

Harassment or stalking: Perhaps one person is sending many unwanted texts, phone calls, or emails. These items can be used as evidence to create a restraining order. It only helps build a stronger case if these messages are damaging due to abrasive and demeaning language.

Criminal threat: We all tend to say things we do not mean from time to time. Most of us would not look good when our words are taken out of the context when they were spoken. Regardless, words spoken, written, or recorded can be used to show that the receiving person had a reasonable fear for their safety. This is another example when alleged emotional abuse can lead to other criminal charges.

What can you do if you have been accused of emotional abuse?

Hopefully, the above content helped shed a little light on the issue. Every case is unique and so at the circumstances of your relationships and charges. As we like to say at our firm, “just because you did, it doesn’t mean you’re guilty.” That is because we realize there are always two sides to every story. Our attorneys are here to help have your voice be heard in the eyes of the law. If you live in West Jordan or Salt Lake City, we are happy to have a case review regarding any criminal charges you are facing. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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