Domestic abuse rears its ugly head in many forms, one of which is emotional abuse. Far less obvious and more difficult to prove than physical violence, emotional abuse can be defined in several ways. But what is considered emotional abuse under family law?

Emotional abuse can happen anywhere – home, school, care homes and more. Under family law, emotional abuse is considered to be anything that causes fear. Emotional mistreatment can include berating, humiliation, name calling, cruel taunting, threats or anything whereby one person exerts control over another with the victim suffering psychological distress.

No set definition for emotional abuse

While there is no set legal definition for emotional abuse – also referred to as psychological or mental abuse – it’s often a key component of many family law cases. Emotional abuse can occur in many different ways, including:

  • Child abuse
  • Elder abuse
  • Spousal abuse

Psychological abuse has many traits too, such as:

  • Verbal aggression, which can include false statements or lies told about a person
  • Dominating or repressive behaviour against another person
  • Planting ideas of jealousy or slander of another person
  • Forcing a person to view disturbing or negative images/behaviour

The traits of emotional abuse are not exhaustive.

How is emotional abuse interpreted by UK law?

Understanding the definition of emotional abuse under family law.

In 2015, new laws were introduced for emotional abuse.

In 2015, new laws came into effect that brought emotional abuse under the Serious Crime Bill, with psychological abusers facing up to five years in jail, heavy fines or both. This means that victims of emotional abuse can report incidents to the police and take action through the family and criminal courts if necessary.

If you’re a victim of emotional abuse, the immediate priority – using the full extent of the law – is to secure your safety and that’s where a family lawyer can help.

How can Holland Family Law Leicester help?

As a victim of emotional abuse, you have several options available to you – report it to the police, leave the family home temporarily or permanently or remaining in your home and forcing the person harming you to leave the property.

Once you are safe, you need to consider your future options, which may include:

  • Permanently splitting from your partner
  • Taking action to keep your partner from harassing you
  • Protecting your interests in the family home – whether this is if you decide to remain or leave the property
  • Ensuring that child arrangements are taken care of

Holland Family Law specialises in divorce and separation cases involving domestic abuse, providing the sensitive support that you will need to end the cycle of emotional abuse you have suffered, while protecting your best interests.

As an independent family law firm, we’re able to give you the personal touch that your case will need, meaning that we can really listen to your circumstances, advise and act on your behalf when you need it most.

With what you’re facing, you not only need legal representation, but you also need the right family lawyer fighting your corner. We will partner with you to come up with a clear strategy to ensure that you’re not coping with this alone. Our service will bring closure, help you to heal, recover and move on to a brighter future.

It all begins with a free, 30-minute informal chat

Holland Family Law Leicester's Claire Holland.

Holland Family Law Leicester is here to represent you!

Our free, 30-minute informal chat is an opportunity for us to get to know one another and for you to share with us, in complete confidence, your story and what you want from a family lawyer. We’re here to listen, without judgement, and offer solutions that will help you move forward.

You’re under no pressure to use our services following your informal chat with us. We want you to be completely at ease with choosing us to represent you, and this call gives you an idea of the Holland Family Law culture, ethos and what we can do for you.

To arrange a free, informal chat with the Holland Family Law team, email or use our website contact form and we’ll get in touch.