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Are Abusive Texts a Form of Domestic Violence?


A disturbing story made the news recently. According to The Charlotte Observer, a father allegedly sent abusive text messages to his daughter, leading to his ex-wife having a domestic violence protective order placed against him. However, an appeals court has rescinded that order after reviewing the text exchanges between the father and daughter and ruling that they contain no competent proof of domestic abuse.

Can Texts Be Considered a Form of Domestic Abuse in North Carolina?

Domestic violence and abuse can come in many forms. One form of abuse that often gets overlooked involves abusive text messages. While the case above ultimately resulted in domestic violence allegations against a father being disproven, the fact that he initially had a domestic violence protective order placed against him proves that abusive texts can be considered domestic abuse. In some instances, abusive text messages can be the last step before an abuser commits an act of physical violence. So, abusive text messages must be taken seriously.

Types of domestic abuse that can involve text messages include emotional and mental abuse (also known as psychological abuse). Generally, these text messages include abrasive language, swear words, and threats of violence, but not always.

Examples of mental and emotional abuse include the following:

  • Gaslighting – This involves an abuser trying to convince a victim that something happened that didn’t happen or that something didn’t happen that did happen. For instance, if an abusive spouse or parent threatens their victim but then later claims that the threat never happened and that the victim is mistaken, that is a form of gaslighting.
  • Name-calling – While this may not seem like a serious form of abuse, it can be. It mainly involves abusing someone by calling them names. Usually, name-calling involves attacking a person’s identity in some way, such as making fun of their gender, sexual orientation, race, masculinity, or femininity. In many cases, the abuser will claim their abuse is just a joke.
  • Body-shaming – This is similar to name-calling, but the abuse focuses on a person’s body. It involves attacking a person’s looks in some way, such as criticizing their weight or making fun of their height.
  • “Protecting” involves overprotective behavior, such as if your spouse forbids you from continuing relationships with friends and family members who they believe are a threat to your and your spouse’s relationship.

As stated earlier, abusive text messages should be taken seriously. Legal options are available to help protect victims, such as filing a no-contact order. If you or a loved one has been targeted with abusive text messages, you should contact the police and speak with an experienced domestic violence lawyer. An attorney can examine your situation, determine the severity of the abuse, and help you pursue any available legal options to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Schedule a Confidential Consultation with an Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney

Domestic violence in any form is unacceptable. No one should have to endure mental, physical, or emotional abuse, especially from someone who is supposed to love and care for them. When parents or spouses are behind abuse, it is particularly heartbreaking. Instead of lifting their loved ones, they are tearing them down in the worst ways possible.

The domestic violence attorneys at Rech Law, P.C. are all too familiar with the struggles that domestic abuse victims face. Having represented domestic violence survivors before, we have seen firsthand the devastating consequences of their abusers’ actions. We protect our clients and are with them side-by-side throughout the legal process. We advocate for them and do everything legally possible to ensure their abuser never hurts them again.

For more information about the strong bonds that we’ve built with our clients, check out our client testimonials.

If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Call us at (704) 659-0007 or contact us online to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation with our experienced legal team member.

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