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can you go to jail for verbal abuse?


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#1 thelost

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 01:45 AM

i dont know where to post this but anyway i have a question about verbal abuse. suppose someone yells and swears at you. can they get into trouble for it? can they go to jail? can the police do anything about it? im just asking coz i live in aus and my auntie gets verbally abused by her husband daily. yelling, cursing, swearing etc etc. the police here say they cant do anything unless he touches her, like punches her, slaps her etc etc. is that true? so does that mean if you abuse people verbally you can get away with it as long as you dont do anything physical?


#2 Stickler

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 02:00 AM

Most places, yes, that's correct. I'm sorry about your auntie.

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#3 thelost

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 02:12 AM

Most places, yes, that's correct. I'm sorry about your auntie.


how about if someone THREATENS you verbally. can the police do anything about it?

#4 Stickler

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 02:30 AM


Most places, yes, that's correct. I'm sorry about your auntie.


how about if someone THREATENS you verbally. can the police do anything about it?


Usually the person being threatened has to be the one making the report. But call a local women's organization to confirm that ...there may be exceptions in cases of reported spousal abuse...or there may be some kind of social protective services I'm not aware of.

Sadly, what's likely going to have to happen is that your aunt's going to have to decide she's not willing to put up with his verbal abuse anymore and tell him he can either stop or she can leave him...and she probably will have to leave him...Until she decides to put a stop to it, I'm not sure there's anything you can do...although you can certainly call a women's organization and get advice, see if there is anything you can do.
Until he physically hits her, in which case the law may be required to step in...that you'd really have to look up on your territories'(provinces'?) public legal website. I know here it varies from state to state, but in a lot of states it's not the woman who chooses to press charges, it's the state...because a battered woman often retracts the charges mid-case.

Aussie and U.S. common laws are pretty similar in a lot of things, I'm assuming, since they both descend from British common law.

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#5 Velvet Elvis

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 02:31 AM

The best option is to get to a shelter of some kind. There might be some kind of technical law against it, but nothing that wouldn't have the person back out six hours later even more pissed off. I don't know the laws down there.

I'm assuming that there are women's shelters and domestic violence centers she can go to that will give her a place to stay and legal aid.

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#6 thelost

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 03:38 AM

[/quote]

how about if someone THREATENS you verbally. can the police do anything about it?
[/quote]


Until he physically hits her, in which case the law may be required to step in...
[/quote]

forget about the my auntie situation for a moment. so ur saying suppose someone punched me in the face the law "may" step in?! u can get away with anything these days

Edited by thelost, 13 November 2010 - 03:39 AM.


#7 SashaSue

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 03:51 AM

No, she said the law may be *required* to step in. Not the same thing. Calm down.
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#8 Stickler

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 06:37 AM

(erm...do you *have* to call me she? third-person singular they maybe? Sorry, not out in real-life yet and all...)

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#9 Guest_Vapourware_*

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 07:11 AM

In Australia, you generally don't go to jail just over verbal abuse. Verbal abuse, AFAIK, doesn't entail anything. The police can't intervene.

If there are threats then a person can apply for a restraining order preventing the other person from approaching them within a certain distance.

Sorry your aunty is in that position. She has to make the decision whether she wants to do anything about it.

#10 wondernut

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 07:52 AM

it makes me sick and sad to hear when anyone goes through something like this ..and this kind of thing goes on everwhere

you can get a ticket for screaming "FUCK" in public ...in some places it is completely illegal to scream and yell at anyone ..that is why our country is such a mess we can not even make up our minds if screaming "fuck you" is illegal or not ...but I digress... while I honestly can say I do not believe in censorship as a rule..I do believe in protecting people from assault in any shape or form ..if you are at a ralley and scream "FUCKING A" then ok scream it ..if you are cornering someone with your finger in their face screaming "YOU FUCKING BITCH" ..it should be obvious but it isn't ..nothing is ...
it confuses me

I wonder do you have another law you can call on to at least get him in trouble for being such a dick..how about "disruptinging the peace" "obscenity laws" ?

maybe you Aunty will just go mental right back on his ass someday ..or even better just pack her things and leave or at least get some sort of restraining order?

Edited by wondernut, 13 November 2010 - 07:54 AM.

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#11 thelost

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 07:54 AM

If there are threats then a person can apply for a restraining order preventing the other person from approaching them within a certain distance.


so IF my auntys husband threatens her and she gets a restraining order and IF he breaks it and goes near her then threatens her or verbally abuses her again THEN does he go to jail? or what are the consequences for breaking the order?

#12 AnneMarie

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 12:49 PM


If there are threats then a person can apply for a restraining order preventing the other person from approaching them within a certain distance.


so IF my auntys husband threatens her and she gets a restraining order and IF he breaks it and goes near her then threatens her or verbally abuses her again THEN does he go to jail? or what are the consequences for breaking the order?

If there is a restraining order, and if he goes within the area he has been told to stay away, and if the police know, and if the police get there when he is in violation of the restraining order or there is proof that he did, they will arrest him. He does not need to do bodily harm, just be within the forebidden distance.

Your aunt needs to decide to leave. It is a very difficult decision. Unless he presents a credible threat to do harm if she leaves, the restraining order may be unnecessary and may present more problems than benefits. Some people respect them. Some get pissed about them and since they are just pieces of paper, there could be potential violence before the cops arrive to stop it. If there is no real need in the first place, it is better to not chance enflaming the creepy person.

If your aunt wants to leave, she should contact a local woman's shelter or social program for advice on options, including whether a RO is a wise choice.

If your aunt choses to stay, then that is her decision, and sad as it is, there isn't much you can do other than offer support.

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#13 Stickler

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 08:26 PM


(erm...do you *have* to call me she? third-person singular they maybe? Sorry, not out in real-life yet and all...)


I didn't get the memo either that we're suuposed to call you something other than "she." You've never made even a peep about it.

Not everyone follows your gender journey, so have some patience. I personally have no idea what androgynes prefer when being addressed with pronouns, and I am sure it varies from person to person. Our language doesn't really have gender-neutral third person singular pronouns so it's a little difficult.


Sorry, OP, BTW...
Yeah, I know all that Di...although i do mention my current gender issues in my sig, it's not obvious...and I have been female...it just sort of made me cringe a little, that's all, I wasn't trying to be all militant... It just felt, um, icky, to be called "she." Not sure what a happy solution is though.

Hadn't thought about it, since it's unusual to get referred to in third person on a message board.

I even call androgeneity the Quest for Pronoun...
Okay, gonna stop threadjacking now.

Edited by Stickler, 13 November 2010 - 08:28 PM.

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