March 25, 2012 9:43 AM Subscribe
Is there anything illegal about being verbally abusive in a triggering way to someone with mental illness?
posted by anonymous to human relations (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A close relative of mine struggles with mental illness including attempted self-harm in the past. The friend of a man she was formerly in a relationship with-- a woman she barely knows-- sent her an incredibly hurtful, cruel, (untrue) email calling her a terrible person, that she was a nobody, and basically a bunch of awful things like that. It was clearly sent as a proxy from the POS ex. I am truly beyond livid that someone knowing my relative's past of mental illness, low self-esteem, etc. would send her this email.
Is there any sort of legal recourse for this? I can think of basically two parallels: 1) it is clearly bullying behavior, and even worse because the perps are "adults". 2) Given that mental illness is an illness, sending this sort of triggering email seems rather akin to knowingly serving a peanut to someone with a peanut allergy. This isn't the sort of thing that's like "total assholes; whatever"-- this could represent a serious setback in terms of her health progress and the people on the other end KNOW THIS.
I doubt my relative would want to take any sort of legal action-- I feel bad even secretly asking on her behalf-- but I am interested to know nonetheless. I am really beside myself and haven't ever witnessed such monstrous cruelty before. This is in MA, USA if it matters.