Of Emotional Abuse & Narcissistic Personality Disorder 12

A is a victim of narcissistic and wants to seek redress before the courts of law. In order to be granted redress before the courts the following questions are pertinent.

1. What is narcissistic abuse from the legal perspective?

2. What statutory remedies are available to casualties of narcissistic abuse?

3. What does the applicant (victim of narcissistic abuse) have to do in order to prove narcissistic abuse in court?


1. What is narcissistic abuse from the legal perspective?

• The Domestic Violence Act Cap 28: 05 does not expressly define narcissistic abuse. Nonetheless it does give an umbrella description of what emotional or psychological abuse is in general. As mentioned in my previous writings narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional and psychological abuse.

• According to Section 2 of the aforesaid act, emotional, verbal or psychological abuse means ‘the systematic and deliberate breaking down or destroying of an applicant or child’s mental well-being by using verbal or physical forms of communication such as but not limited to-

(a) insults, ridicule or name calling; (b) threats to cause emotional pain; or (c) the exhibition of obsessive possessiveness or jealousy which is such as to constitute a serious invasion of the applicant’s privacy, liberty, integrity or security;

• In light of the aforesaid Section 2, the examples of emotional abuse given are not exhaustive. Therefore, gaslighting and emotional manipulation which form a great portion of narcissistic abuse fall within the parameters of emotional abuse under the Domestic Violence Act Cap 28:05.

2. What statutory remedies are available to casualties of narcissistic abuse?

• As aforementioned, narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional abuse which is not explicitly enunciated in the Domestic Violence Act Cap 28:05. Section 7 1 a – d of the Domestic Violence Act Cap 28: 01 provides that an Applicant or victim of emotional abuse may make an application to the court for these type of court orders; interim, occupancy, restraining and tenancy.

• An interim order is a court order that is temporarily granted whlist awaiting the final determination of the court. In light of narcissistic abuse, the court may grant temporary relief to the allegedly abused pending the court’s judgement.

• An occupancy order may be granted where the parties in a love relationship co – own and stay in the same house. This order may stipulate who ought to stay or leave that house in order to avert further emotional abuse.

• A tenancy order release survivors of domestic violence immediately from some the obligations of a lease agreement in the event that they are resident in a rented property.

• A restraining order may order a perpetrator of gender-based violence to cease abuse and refrain from you. The abuser will be held in contempt if they violate this court order.

• Where the respondent or perpetrator of abuse violates any of these court orders they will be held in contempt.

3. What does the applicant (victim of narcissistic abuse) have to do in order to prove narcissistic abuse in court of law?

• Section 6 (1) (b) of the Domestic Violence Act Cap 28: 05 provides that parties in domestic violence court proceedings are free to call witnesses. Therefore, the survivor of narcissistic abuse is liberated to call any witnesses they deem fit to buttress their case. Such witnesses may include but not limited to psychologists or counselors whom the applicant or casualty of abuse may have sought counselling from in the past.

• Moreover, in light of Section 2 of the Domestic Violence Act Cap 28:05 in the aforegoing paragraphs, the survivor of narcissistic abuse will have to prove narcissistic abuse within the parameters of the legal definition of emotional abuse. For the sake of clarity examples of emotional abuse include but are not limited to insults, ridicule or name calling; threats to cause emotional pain; or the exhibition of obsessive possessiveness or jealousy which such as to constitute a serious invasion of the applicant’s privacy, liberty, integrity or security.

• With reference to narcissistic abuse, it would be prudent for the Applicant to also depict to the court that the narcissist gaslighted and manipulated them emotionally.

• Given that emotional abuse is generally cumbersome to prove as it mostly occurs covertly, it is vital to keep a documentation of such abuse in the form of phone calls, text messages, emotional abuse reports from your interactions with psychologists or counsellors, emails, videos etc.

I now rest my case on narcissistic abuse at this season.

• Gaone Monau is a Practicing attorney and Motivational speaker. For bookings on gender-based violence awareness seminars, motivational talks or consultations on relationships, confidence building, stress management and self-discovery contact +26774542732 or [email protected] Her Facebook page is Be Motivated with Gaone.

Editor's Comment
More resources needed to fight crime

The Fight Crime Gaborone Facebook page is always filled with sad complaints of hard working Batswana who were robbed at knife point at some traffic lights or at their home gates when trying to get inside.These thugs have no mercy; they do not just threaten victims, they are always ready to use knives, and sadly, they damage car windows. While this happens at different traffic lights, there are those where such incidents happen more frequently...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up