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Mental Abuse

Mental abuse can take place in many different environments

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Mental abuse often takes place in the home in the devastating setting of domestic violence but it can also take place in other environments, including the workplace and between couples who do not live together.

Mental abuse is usually caused by one person or more against another. The abuser might be a bully, criticising and undermining the victim’s thoughts and decisions; they can be judgmental, controlling, possessive, manipulative, cruel, aggressive and frightening. They can isolate the victim from family and friends, limit their access to money, to the internet, phones and to her kinds of communication.

The victim’s identity can be eroded over time to the point when they rely totally on the abuser. In extreme situations the victim can be so scared and undermined that the abuse takes control of everything to do with the victim’s life.

Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to this behaviour.

The effect of fear, and the erosion of someone’s ability to live life as they should be able to, can damage someone’s personality. It can also affect brain function. Some people never break free of the abuser. Some do and they can spend many years in therapy as they come to terms with what has happened to them. Many develop psychological conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, agoraphobia and hyper-arousal.

Therapy is effective and can really help survivors to recover. Some survivors don’t ever fully recover and can need therapy for many years. These psychological effects will affect people’s ability to work, they type of work they do, their ability to socialise and meet new people and their friendships and relationships.

Psychiatry, psychology and the law have made many advances over the last 50 years, and criminal law as well as civil law now recognise the damage that mental abuse causes and acknowledges that here is no place in society for this. The criminal law introduced the offence of coercive control in 2015 and nowadays most people understand what is meant by gaslighting and mental and emotional abuse.

Compensation is for the injury or damage that the abuser has done to the survivor’s mental health, for financial losses they have sustained as a result and sometimes for therapy and rehabilitation costs.

There are various ways a claim can be brought. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised here, please contact our Serious Injury team today on 0161 615 5554, or email We have many years of experience in handling cases of mental abuse, and are here to help you.

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  • Victoria Price


    Victoria Price

    t:03333 058375


  • Gemma Stanley

    Associate, Serious Injury Claims

    Gemma Stanley

    t:07534 847421


  • Alexandra Bastow

    Paralegal, Serious Injury

    Alexandra Bastow

    t:07939 988918


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