New laws in the UK in 2015 to make emotional abuse illegal

emotional abuseBy the end of 2015, there will be new laws brought into the UK, that seeks to tackle emotional abuse and to make it a criminal offence. Emotional abusers who are caught, could face a prison sentence.

Sky News


The Guardian

Many victims of sociopaths/psychopaths, following emotional abuse are left confused and bewildered by what has happened to them. Often their abuser didn’t seem like a ‘crazy’ person to the outside world. In fact the reverse.

Not all sociopaths are physically violent, but ALL sociopaths ARE emotionally abusive.

What is emotional abuse? 

Emotional abuse can cover a wide spectrum of behaviours towards you that are designed deliberately to control, violate, manipulate, or invade your own personal space.

So what is emotional abuse? Is it just name calling?

Emotional abuse is any type of abuse that effects YOUR emotions. Anything that violates the way that you feel, and prevents your freedom. If another person stops you from living your life in the way that that feels right for YOU, be it spiritually, financially, professionally, socially, mentally, this is emotional abuse. Anyone that stops you from being you, for no reason, other than to control and dominate you. This also includes deliberate manipulation, preventing you from seeing family or friends, preventing you from pursuing personal hobbies.

This is not an exhaustive list, and I am sure that you could add to this list, but some examples of emotional abuse are:

  • Lying either about you – or to you
  • Threats
  • Stealing – any form of theft, be it theft of personal property, theft of friends, theft of your life (we all know that sociopaths can go for the whole lot)
  • Financial abuse – either taking money without your permission, or manipulating you so that you spend your money, and pay for them. Often lying to you, or creating a false persona to do so.
  • Minimising things that are important to you, your friends, family, career, your hobbies, interests, dreams
  • Name calling
  • Playing psychological mind games (a good example of this, where a sociopath is concerned, is accusing you of things that they are guilty of doing themselves).
  • Shouting, ranting, yelling, talking over you, not allowing you a voice, or to be heard.
  • Witholding finances, accommodation, clothing, preventing you from going to work, or calling you excessively at work
  • Violating your personal space
  • Making ‘jokes’ about your person, and telling you that you are being ‘sensitive’ if you feel upset about this
  • Mocking you, and who are you (see above)

What other examples can you think of? 

What is the effect of emotional abuse on the victim? 

This is how it felt to me being emotionally abused. I gave the analogy of Alice in Wonderland, who drinks the potion and feels smaller…. and smaller….. emotional abuse can make you feel:

  • Depressed
  • Increased anxiety and panic attacks
  • Insignificant
  • Confusion about your personal identity
  • Isolated
  • Misunderstood
  • Frightened
  • Suicidal
  • Angry
  • Ugly
  • Hopeless
  • Violated
  • Dependent

Again these are just a few feelings – i am sure that you can think of more. How did being emotionally abused make YOU feel? 

The last bullet point DEPENDENT is an interesting one. Others might question why do you feel connected or dependent on someone who is abusing you? Often, the answer to this, is addiction, dependency – created deliberately by the sociopath to own and control you.

Often in the beginning of the relationship, it starts off well, like an amazing honeymoon, a dream come true, where you are swept off of your feet. Hearts and flowers are everywhere. This feels almost too good to be true. It feels too good to be true, because it is…..

Relationships do not start emotionally abusive, or at least they very rarely do. If they did, then people would not stay. They become emotionally abusive after a time, once you are hooked it will begin and often this emotional abuse starts slowly at first. With a sociopath you might not realise you are being abused, until you are dealing with the carnage of your life after the relationship has ended.

If relationships started abusive in anyway, you wouldn’t have entered into the relationship. You would have moved on your way. Usually the relationship starts off ‘wonderful’ and often it is the thought of this ‘wonderful’ that you yearn for, when things start to go wrong. That memory of wonderful, can be the one thing that keeps you hooked. After all, you had never felt that way before?

Emotional abuse, is systematic, slow, continual and relentless. Once you have been broken down, you do not have the time or space to rebuild and recover. Instead you are kept down, and prevented from not only personal growth, but from recovering from the last blow, and finding yourself.

Some types of emotional abuse, are so controlled, and clever even, that the victim often does not realise that they are being abused, all that they know, is that they ‘feel bad’. They might still look at their abuser as a hero, or as somebody who is there for them, a rescuer.

Sociopaths often make good things bad. Once they have pulled the rug from under your feet, they like to play rescuer to make things better for you. Often, the truth is, that they were the ones who made it bad in the first place. This can be a deliberate, a strategy designed to keep you down, and keep you low, so that you are no threat to them, so that you won’t escape, so that they can keep control of you.

It is not your fault – How to rebuild

First of all, know that what has happened to you is NOT your fault. Sociopaths often look for people that they can mould into the person that they want them to be. Almost always this will be someone that they can have full control over.

Take the first step!!! 

You don’t need to see the whole staircase – just take the first step….. whatever that first step is to rebuild YOU. 

first step

  • Establish and stick to no contact – you have to let go so that you can grow!
  • Write a list of what YOU want – and keep this list HIDDEN – SECRET, this is YOUR list. Write a list, and this list will be YOU – all about you. All what YOU want to make you happy. How to find YOU again
  • Think (or try) as best as you can, to THINK POSITIVE. I know that this is difficult if you are feeling anxious, frightened or depressed. When a negative thought hits…. please write this down, and then write next to it, a positive thought (so for example if you feel bad because someone did xyz to you…. write how good it could feel to escape, or the sense of elation you could feel to overcome your difficulties).
  • Get in contact with one person that you haven’t spoken to in a while. If it is someone that you knew BEFORE you met your abuser, all the better as this person knows the REAL you, not the you that you were made into
  • As much as you can, avoid negativity, this includes negative people, people who do not have your best interests at heart. Focus on you, and rebuilding you.
  • If you are feeling depressed, suicidal, or finding it difficult to cope, reach out and ask for help. I understand that readers are everywhere in the world – that services are different in different countries, please if you are finding it difficult to cope, try to find one person to reach out to. Even if it is just an online support group. Just speak to someone about how you are feeling.

What would changes in the UK law mean for victims in the UK? 

Personally I think that any measure that makes abuse illegal is a good thing, but I suspect that it might be difficult to prove. Especially given that sociopaths are also compulsive pathological liars.

Sociopaths use a false love persona to lure you in, and manipulate you – whilst creating a new reality for you. One of fear. It can be difficult to escape and to ask for help, when your life has been made so small, and when you are living in fear.

Dont be afraid to speak up and speak out! 

Speak up and speak out. Contact a local domestic abuse service in your area, and ask for help. Workers there will be experienced, and will know that discretion is key. They will understand and will not judge you  if you choose at first, not to escape. What will be key is keeping you safe.

Being able to speak to someone else, takes away the sociopaths power, it offers a different viewpoint and perspective. If you are seeking help, and are still in the relationship (or even if you have just escaped) do NOT tell the sociopath. Keep it to yourself. Use this as a support system for you. Another worker, can help to undo the brainwashing that sociopaths do. They can help you to regain your power and to get the strength to get out, and stay out.


You might feel humiliated and ashamed about what has happened (or is still happening) to you. This is common, especially as sociopaths thrive on fear, and threats to humiliate and shame you. They control you, by minimising you. Remember that a specialist worker, is just that. There is little that they haven’t heard before. What is important is that you find

  • Hope
  • Someone that you trust

Remember that you cannot change anyone else, but you can change you. Sometimes, especially after being abused, you need help to rebuild you. If this is happening to you, please reach out and ask for help. If you don’t have the confidence to see someone face to face, look for online support groups.

Personally, I welcome these changes. Anything that offers hope to a victim. Anything that offers support, can only be a good thing. For someone who has been emotionally abused, that very first step, is often just finding someone who gives them hope, finding someone that that they can trust…. from there…. anything is possible.

Copyright 2014

33 thoughts on “New laws in the UK in 2015 to make emotional abuse illegal”

  1. I left a sociopath several months ago…everyone saw what he was bar me. I feel I have mug with a capital M on my forehead. He’s in Spain, I’m in Uk, and he’s still threatening me. It’s a living nightmare. My only hope is, that he meets someone else, but then he’ll start all over again with that person. He doesn’t see it at all, always others fault bar him. He’s in major victim mode now, as I’m in the stronger position now. Sociopaths show no empathy, it’s all about them.

    1. I remember that feeling Lynne, just praying that he would meet someone else, so that the mindless ‘crazy’ would stop. The threats, the constant going on, thing is, even if he does meet someone else, he would still try to catch up with you – if he could…. in his mind he could be with someone else, but you can’t.

    2. Betrayal and abandonment! Deliberately not following through on an agreement in order to hurt you, humiliation.

  2. Standing back from it all now,the signs were there,and I can see him for what he is. Eliminating people from my life,if he thought his endless lies would out. How can you live with someone for 15 years,and then find out,they’ve lied about their whole life to you?
    I am incredibly proud of what my sons did for me…they just said,enough is enough,and drove to Spain and got me.
    Brainwashed is all I can say.

  3. I am the victim of a sociopath, but this proposed law is ridicules, and is open to abuse. The best remedy is exercising common sense and getting out. Eventually it will be a crime to be a nasty person and we will all have to walk around like robots lest we offend someone and be charge on suspicion of being a nasty piece of work. I dont mean to be insensitive to anyone, my comments are not meant to be respectful to anyone

    1. Hi JJK

      Thanks for your comments. I agree with you, in that it could be open to abuse. The people who would be most likely to abuse it, would be pathological liars. I think that there is a danger in this. However. I also think that it is better than victims being in silence. When new laws come in, one would hope that there would be at least some funding for services to support this law. Well in theory anyway.

      I know that it said on the news – about someone could be charged if they stopped someone from pursuing their hobbies. How do you determine if this is deliberate abuse or someone fed up of their partner who declares that their ‘hobby’ is drinking down the pub every night with their mates?

      I think it will be difficult to implement – and could be open to abuse, but I do also think that it is needed.

  4. Thank you for this wonderful post!!!!! This gives me so much strength and comfort because you really understand what I went through and am still going through. People just can’t understand unless they went through it. I now have more strength to keep on going.

  5. Wow this is interesting news, thanks for sharing. (Of course nothing said here in Canada about this initiative but we could hope it would be soon to follow the UK’s lead.) All the more reason to keep records of everything I suppose.

    Oh, and happy holidays to those in the mood to celebrate. May it be a peaceful one for you all.

    1. I have found it hard to celebrate Blue. I think the Holidays are sometimes difficult for those of us in this situation….I believe they call it the holiday blues….however, we slog through it. Someday the Holidays may hold their appeal again.

      1. Yes exactly bewildered, and I think it’s something you should do just for you, only if you feel like it. (If it just makes you feel worse then of course not!) I admit I was doing really well until last night, something flicked the switch and I barely slept and feel quite awful today. I think I will push through and put the tree up tonight though, even though I don’t feel like it, just because it is beautiful and fills the house with warmth. Definitely have to fight through my blues to get there though.

        (12 months now since I sent my serious cease & desist order and started true no contact rules.)

      2. blue, I’m glad you put up a tree. My youngest daughter put up a tree at her house and I brought our family ornaments. I must say though, I may still put up some lights if not a tree, because my light shines through, and those happy memories of Christmas lights belong to me too. i will at least try it, because I feel the need to connect with my happy memories of my past, which included happy music, traditions, and lights all around. Thank you for waking me up a bit.

      3. Hey Bewildred
        I remember you my old friend . Sorry to find you still blue but I’m not much better . I’m sociopath free for 14 months now and still going to therapy .
        Christmas is the most difficult time of the year but we made it through last year and we are going to do it again ! It’s not like we have a choice .
        I will be spending Christmas alone since my whole familie lives in Germany . Just me and my dog . At least there is nothing to fear .
        I’ll be thinking of you my friend when Christmas comes .
        Funny how we share this bond !
        Love&Peace , Ladybug

  6. Thank you for this post. While I have left my tormentor, I had another one at my work. A coworker. Not a person I dated. Nonetheless, this person also left the ugly footprints of emotional abuse on my soul. I left my work then as well. It takes a long time to come back to a semblance of normal, and to feel human again after they have had their jollies with their psycho behavior targeted at you. (At work, others were recruited to also be unkind. It was utter nonsense, although extremely hurtful)
    It can be ruinous, however, it is these reminders that we are not alone and we are not crazy after all….thank you positiva . Your posts come at the right time.

  7. Yes….Only close friends who’ve witnessed their behaviour know it’s true. If an outsider asks,they look at you a bit gobsmacked,as it all sounds off the wall. Family and good friends are the key to recovery.
    Having the sense to move on, and trying to have positive thoughts.
    You do find yourself analysing people more,especially men.
    Another man,will be way down the line,if ever.
    Sociopaths leave a trail of destruction behind them,and don’t care or love anyone,but themselves. I don’t think they’re capable of love,quite honestly.

    1. Thank you for sharing Suzie, I just read your post. I think emotional abuse, is such that even the victim can be confused – is this happening? Is this real? I just wonder how difficult it will be to prove?

      1. That’s what we were discussing – how do you prove that you’ve been abused emotionally? I know I lost my confidence, that I hated myself, but it happened over a period of years… How do you prove that?

  8. Oh POS….we need this so bad in the states….sociopaths walking away from spouses, children, ruining lives, jobs…they dont need to keep getting away with it!…im so glad to hear this …good news!

    1. Oh my gosh, yes we need emotional laws in the States. I live in Jacksonville, FL and the evils run rampant here. I feel it is their safe haven and breeding ground. I have made it a point to educate as many people as I can about what is going on. Many people who have been abused do not know the actual mental disorder terms, which there are quite a few. I know now that MR of Jacksonville, Florida is a dangerous man who is an altruistic narcisstic bipolar psychopath. He knows what he does and then runs to new supply especially after being figured out. He is an addict to his own disorders. The way to get him is for all empath victims he has abused to come forward. Many he has been with are like him where they all cheat with each other while they have a main supply i.e. spouse, significant other.

      All of those enormous vacant mental institutions housed people like them and now these disordered insane entities are mingling around us wreaking havoc. Most are on some type of antidepressant and addicted to not only sex, but substance abuse. They thrive on hurting/abusing, the evils seek out each other for support and sex, some actually end up together. Evils don’t stick around forever, they are always on the move prowling, scheming, scamming, abusing, and if they do remain with their main supply it is because the target tolerates the abuse and has become too beaten down mentally and/or physically making them too weak to get out.

      I pray for those of you reading who are hurting from their insane abuse and who are struggling to get through the holidays and life in general. It hurts so much, what helps is when their image pops into our brain, or a memory, please, please yell at your thoughts and remind yourself that they are INSANE. You are SANE. It helps because who really wants to be with someone INSANE??? You are better than them, you are Human, they are not. They were born with a brain defect, you have your whole brain thank GOD! You can improve, they cannot. They can’t change, they are INSANE. There is no magical cure for them, no temporary pill to help them stay even keeled, they are INSANE. There are no brain transplants or frontal lobe implants. They must be put away. And…….we must stop producing more of them.

      We need laws in place allowing us access to see if who we get involved with, marry or procreate with has a normal brain scan. Employers should be allowed to have access also.
      ***I am only referring to abuser disorders. Crazy is Crazy, why make more Crazy?***

      I want to add here, if I may, that I have opportunities and sometimes I feel it would be good for me to get involved with someone, but I recognize very early of getting to know a man if what I would be allowing in my life could potentially be more trouble. I have repeated the same people in my life; control freaks, liars, cheaters, con artists, manipulators, drama-ters, etc. These personality characteristics could be just people I hang with to even my own family! Finding postive good people is my mission, but for now I have isolated myself. It’s awful to be like this, I was always Miss Social and outgoing. MR destroyed that. I know I must move far away, does anyone else agree? He is too close, even get out of this state. He must never know where I am, I never want to see him or hear his name ever. He is evil! He raped my mind, body, and soul.

      If you are alone like me, you are in my heart and I will pray for you to keep your head held high. A New Year is Upon Us, make it the best year ever, remember there are so many of us who are still healing and for those of you who are better — those folks never forget, but they help us recover. They know the aftermath.

      1. My heart goes out to everyone of you. It is,without a doubt emotional scarring,how long it takes to heal,God only knows.
        What has angered me greatly,is that the person who did this to you,can walk away,and feel no empathy or remorse,and move to another person,and do exactly the same. I really hope this new law works,but,sadly I’m not too sure. I’ve yet to start the divorce route,but just want it done in the least hard way as possible,so I can move on. He’ll never see it,as being the reason for leaving.
        Hopefully one day,we’ll all meet someone worthy of us,after all there are some good men out there somewhere.

      2. Hi Resilient,
        A lot of what you wrote resonated with me, but one comment you made in particular stuck out.

        You said, “Many he has been with are like him where they all cheat with each other while they have a main supply i.e. spouse, significant other.” This was a curious scenario to me because it is so out there. Something I noted early on with my ex-socio was that he was too interconnected with his ex’s. It made no sense to me why he would float among them, cleaning one’s car, going to an event with another, seeing a movie with still another.

        I asked questions, of course, and his answers didn’t make sense to me either. I will never have a way of knowing if it was because of lies or if it is because of the dynamic you mentioned. I have always suspected that there is more than just him as the problem though, that they (him and his ex’s) are all one big mess of inappropriateness.

  9. Documentation….u might not be able to prove it the first time u go through it…but if it happens again…u document everything… that holds up well!

    1. Absolutely agree, not only your documentation. When I spoke to his last 2 exes both said the same thing, he had done the same to them. I didn’t know them we didn’t live same geographical location. If there were reports by 3 women of the same thing – it would get picked up. Eventually – it would. It might also give young people something to think about, I think it should be taught in schools as well. I wish I knew what I know now back in 2010.

  10. I think it’ll be hard to prove…after all a sociopath is a genius with lies.
    I’m not divorced yet,but I could just see his face,if I put everything down on paper. I’ve given up tackling him about his lies,as he just denies it all anyway.
    I’ve found the road to recovery comes, slowly,but helps if you’re around happy people. When I’m really down, I walk along a beach.
    Blue,put your tree up,and sing happy songs,don’t let your ex get you down,or else he’s won. That’s me being positive.😊

  11. I read a book,on this,guess I’m obsessed ! Without going into lots of detail,I know my ex treated his 2 ex’s the same. Mirror image.

  12. Hello. I am close friends with a precious woman whose brother-in-law is a genuine closet abuser. Think: Norman Bates in ‘Psycho’. This man has never dated or married, is outwardly mild-mannered and puts on a great show of respectability for those who don’t know him well, but all this is feigned and he is inwardly an insidious plotter and schemer, aged late 50s, having lived with his mother until she died, hardcore misogynist, refuses to work or be responsible – has been taking advantage of others to greater or lesser extents for much of his adult life, and is an envious, conscienceless hater in the truest sense of the word.

    My friend and her husband took holidays with this man for several years and they never knew he was dangerous until their last holiday with him in 2013 when he made several attempts to physically harm the wife and clearly took great joy in it.

    My family and I were outraged when we learned what had happened to this poor woman, and, as luck would have it, little does this highly-secretive, delusional bully realise that my younger brother and cousin are acquainted with several of the lads who see the bully regularly at the pubs he frequents. These men don’t think much of him, although he goes to great lengths to leave the opposite impression. This man’s so-called ‘mates’ have almost unanimously stated that they’ve always known something was “quite disturbing” and “off-putting” about his presence, though they couldn’t quite put their fingers on it, and then they proceeded to tell about some of the times this bully’s cruel comments had almost caused pub brawls.

    We have friends in the circles of the West Midlands Police who have both counselled my friend and her husband, and, have put the word out to other contacts about this plotting, fraudulent man. He may think he’s gotten away with his abusive treatment of this woman but he is on a watch list now – and doesn’t even know it. It might move to a formal caution soon, depending on what the Police and this woman and her husband think best.

    Glad to hear the laws are changing. It’s about time the (often secretive and cowardly) instigators of malignant abuse are called to task and made to take responsibility for the intentional cruelty they knowingly inflict on others.

    1. My daughter and I became prisoners in our home due to psychological, emotional and financial abuse by my husband when he retired from a top position travelling the world
      I am trying to divorce him but every move I make ends in disputes with the solicitor and denial, and lies from him. He has isolated us from all our friends and family with his smear campaign and we are so alone, but not giving up. He has done terrible things to us both over the many years . The solicitor is now going for a court order on financial abuse as he has stopped all access to the bank accounts and although we jointly have a considerable sum in savings I have no access. I can’t believe the person he has become and brainwashed my two sons too. He is trying his best to destroy us.
      I would dearly love to get him out of my our lives forever and to press charges. I have been to the police and gone no contact but have no faith in the new law as I do not think the forces or judges have been educated enough about psychopaths and Cluster B abusers . It would only make our lives worse if the legal system believed him as he is such a convincing liar and likeable person to the outside world.
      I have lived my life trusting people and believing the best of everyone and taught my children the same. Now my family is being torn apart and we feel we will never get over this.
      Getting help is not easy , phone calls to agencies lead to more calls but actually getting advice and assistance seems hopeless . I spend my time researching trying to learn how to be free.

  13. Sociopaths will use people for “narcissistic supply” – basically anything they can get from you (sex, money, power, etc.) In my I met a guy online and he did the typical idealize, devalue, discard – but also asked for money (saved on text file), which qualifies as ROMANCE FRAUD! In my case international fraud since he was in Canada and I am in the USA. You CAN report these guys anonymously to the Canadian Resource Center for Victims of Crime at:

    They do keep the names on record and though nothing typically gets done about it right away, if they get enough calls they may contact local authorities. You can also contact local authorities but I decided not to go that route so that I could maintain NO CONTACT.

    I’m sure there are similar hotlines in other countries/states. Hope this helps someone.

  14. Pathetic…what happened to the independent minded strong woman……does she exist or do more laws need to be introduced to protect her further? We seem to be living in a world of women who act like children with the daddy state still looking after them…..

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