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SA Mental Abuse and Defamation Against Mentally Ill Adult?

Discussion in 'Defamation Law Forum' started by elly88, 22 November 2014.

  1. elly88

    elly88 Member

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    I am 26 years old and autistic, on a disability support pension, and my ex boyfriend from several years back has recently engineered a situation that has triggered a life-threatening relapse of PTSD, agoraphobia and panic disorder. As a result, I've needed to take out high level private health insurance to cover my medical costs, have lost hundreds in cancelled plane tickets out of fear to travel to my home city again, have had to pay out of pocket for non-PBS medications to help me survive the crisis, and have been barely able to leave my own home or even tend to my own well-being without the aid of others.

    What has happened, essentially, is that I recently moved away from my home city, and as soon as I did he began inventing a new story about me to his friends and family that implies that I am delusional and abusive. He has repeatedly provoked me through acts such as telling me he is depressed and suicidal, deleting my creative works (music) on Facebook and sending me pictures of himself and his new partner. When I have reacted to these things in various manners, including simple concern for his well-being, he's deleted his initial messages off of his phone/computer and then gone to his mother and claimed that I am delusionally making up stories about him and stalking him. Confused, I said I would like to drop by on my next trip to Sydney to straighten things out in a civil manner and apologise to his family for the misunderstandings.

    In retaliation, his mother has called my family and tried to convince them that I'm a delusional stalker that had threatened to stalk his home, his work, and kill myself if he didn't respond, and that they have attempted to take this to the police (although I believe they denied any restraining order as I have done none of this, merely sent some emotional texts after each provocation asking what I've done to deserve this and sent one civil text saying I'd like to talk in person). His partner has continuously contacted me with insults, as well as leaving false slander on her public blog about me, threatening to "tear me to pieces", telling me she doesn't believe a word I say and making it a point to mock me with laughter publicly online as well. As a result, I've had to cancel a trip back home that had been planned for months, as I am afraid this woman will consider me to be a stalker even if I were to accidentally bump into her, and that she would make good on her threat of physical violence.

    I asked officially for this contact to stop, telling them that I was in the middle of a health crisis (bad reaction to an experimental medication, which I had told them about long ago as well), was already suicidal (they already knew this too), and that any further harassment no matter how passive (such as leaving it on blogs for me to find, as I'm aware under SA law is considered harassment) was a direct risk to my immediate health and life. After this, I attempted no further contact with them, but continued to receive floods of messages and passive mockery from his new partner.

    The latest, a mockery aimed at my attempts to recover from PTSD, has caused an acute relapse. Within 12 hours I was experiencing flashbacks. Within 24 hours I was detained by the police and sectioned into hospital for suicide ideation. Since that time, I've been having daily panic attacks, a symptom I had been rid of for seven years. Multiple psychiatrists, police officers and emergency mental health workers have been involved in supporting me through this so there is plenty of documentation.

    Almost all of this has been done online, since I no longer live in NSW (where my ex and his family live). Therefore, I have hard evidence to support him tormenting me and then deleting it and lying about it to his friends and family while he watched them emotionally abuse and falsely accuse me, through direct communication, by contacting my family members, and by leaving slander online (as well as attempting false allegations to the police).

    My question is, can I press charges for the mental damages this man has done? His loved ones may be the ones abusing me, but only because he has been lying to them and manipulating them into it. He's had the power to stop this at any time by telling them that I have not been delusional or stalking him, but he hasn't, he's simply allowed it to continue.

    I apologise for the long post. I have a sense that this has been made as complicated as possible by him so that I will have no grounds to press charges. I don't wish to press charges against his partner or mother, who are both legitimately mentally ill and are both acting on misinformation fed to them by him. Do I have any chance of pressing charges under Australian law against him for willingly inciting emotional abuse and defamation against someone when he knew the risk of relapse, self-harm and suicide were present?
     
  2. Amanda E

    Amanda E Well-Known Member

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    Hi @elly88 - I'm just reading through your question now and I'm sorry to hear about your situation which sounds like it would be stressful.

    I'm going to have a bit more of a think about the legal side of things, but in the meantime, do you have some practical and emotional support? Such as through Lifeline, Beyond Blue, family and friends etc? I know that the SA Health website lists relevant Support, advocacy and complaint services.
     
  3. Amanda E

    Amanda E Well-Known Member

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    In terms of your ex's behaviour toward you, you may be able to get an Intervention Order (restraining order). An order might be able to be made to an order can restrain your ex from:
    • contacting, harassing, threatening or intimidating you at a place where you live or work,
    • contacting or communicating with you in any way,
    • publishing (in any way, including email, SMS or the Internet) any material about you,
    • assaulting, harassing, threatening or intimidating you, and/or
    • allowing or encouraging another person to do the above acts.
    Have a look at the following websites that set out more information and the steps for obtaining an intervention order in South Australia:
    In terms of defamation, read through these previous LawAnswers threads that relate to defamation and have some good information:
    Hope that information helps.
     

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