Things/thoughts “ping” my mind and the other day, when I was working and wasn’t thinking about anything but work, I very clearly heard “ping”, the actually sound in my head that sounds like someone clinking a glass and then the thought, “Can you sue your abuser?” I put it on the back burner but as I drove home that night, I thought about all the ways my life has been impaired in one way or another by my abuser.
I gave up my paralegal career, I suffer from PTSD, I have been hit, choked, chased, threatened, lived in fear, lived with emotional abuse, financial abuse and I am still living with financial abuse as a result of his doing. I stayed home and trusted that I would be taken care of as he built his business. He left me in the dark and alone and emotionally starving. I was neither a partner nor a wife. He broke our marital contract through the eyes of the law and through the vows he took before God. He did not protect me. I needed protecting from him. So, to cure my curiosity, I started researching if a victim of domestic abuse can sue her abuser. And the answer is yes.
A victim of domestic abuse (the plaintiff) will have three principal types of claims against the abuser (the defendant): assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
A plaintiff’s lawsuit does not need to be limited to one act of abuse, and the damages awarded can be based on the cumulative effect, both emotional and physical, of long-term abuse. In my case, 19+ years.
The testimony of a psychiatrist, psychologist, marital counselor or other mental health professional could be a powerful way to bring home to the jury just how much harm domestic abuse can cause a plaintiff. If the plaintiff is claiming to suffer a particular type of mental health issue, for example, post-traumatic stress disorder, the court will require that the plaintiff submits proof by way of expert diagnosis and testimony.
I’m just starting to dig into this. I’ll write some more on this as I sink my teeth into it. One thing I know for sure. There is not a lot of case law for these types of lawsuits but if we are going to fight domestic abuse and stop the violence, the best way to do it is with an attorney who wants to put themselves at the forefront of this movement and to hit the Narcissistic abuser where he lives; Right in his wallet.