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Can I press charges against someone for intentionally inflicting emotional distress by telling me to kill myself? (Adult)

Norfolk, VA |

My ex very explicitly told me to kill myself (and how to do it to make sure I would succeed). This caused intense emotional distress and psychological trauma, and my ex was well aware that I was a long-term abuse survivor as a child. I'm now chronically suicidal and though I have sought treatment, nothing seems to work. Seeking closure from this traumatic event might help, which is why I would like to seek legal advice. I know there are anti-bullying laws relating to children, but is there any legal recourse for adults how have been traumatized like this? Also, I want to do what I can to make sure he does not do this to anyone else. Lastly, I'm worried that he will retaliate through lies if I do try to do anything about this; is there any way to protect myself? I don't have any "proof."

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Attorney answers 3


In general, the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress involves some kind of conduct that is so terrible that it causes severe emotional trauma in the victim. In such cases, the victim can recover damages from the person causing the emotional distress. The tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress has fairly common elements in all states:
(1) the defendant must act intentionally or recklessly;
(2) the defendant's conduct must be extreme and outrageous;
(3) the conduct must be the cause;
(4) of severe emotional distress (and bodily harm)

Consult with a competent attorney in your state.

This is not a legal advice or solicitation, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consult with an attorney. I work for Cardinal Risk Mangement and Cardinal Intellectual Property, IP service companies, but not law firms. I also am the president of Vepachedu Educational Foundation Inc., which is a non profit educational foundation. I also write cultural and scientific compliations for the foundation. I also teach at Northwestern university as a guest lecturer. I also provide some pro-bono guidance on immigration and other issues through Indian American Bar Association. I also have a contract with Cardinal Law Group, a law firm, for IP projects. All this information is on my profile at Avvo and also at Linkedin. Any views/opinions expressed in any context are my personal views in individual capacity only, and do not represent the views and opinions of any firm, client, or anyone else, and is not sponsored or endorsed by them in any way.


Unfortunately in Virginia, you hve no recourse. There is no monetary compensation for emotional distress. While you can be compensated for your pain and suffering from an injury, you cannot be compensated if there is no physical injury. While some states recognize emotional distress as an injury, Virginia does not.


No proof.
No cause if action in Virginia anyway.
No case.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.

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