The Constitution, Children's and Domestic Violence Acts protect children and everyone against physical, emotional and psychological abuse but emotional and psychological abuse seldom receive the attention and protection it deserves and are often also misunderstood.
What I want to argue is that emotional and psychological abuse are far more serious and damaging than physical abuse in certain circumstances.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT No. 116 of 1998
"domestic violence" include- emotional, verbal and psychological abuse;
"emotional, verbal and psychological abuse" means a pattern of degrading or humiliating conduct towards a complainant.
While emotional, verbal and psychological abuse are regarded as abuse the word PATTERN is very important and can be used to split emotional and psychological abuse in two very different parts.
The "normal" emotional, verbal and psychological abuse that perhaps most people already experienced one time or another but was not a pattern over prolonged period mostly circumstantial of nature that stopped when the circumstances changed.
The serious emotional and psychological abuse that form a pattern over prolonged period is a very different matter and on an entirely different level as explained below.
Constitution and Bill of Rights
Rights - This Bill of Rights affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.
Equality - Everyone is equal before the law.
Human dignity - Everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected
Freedom and security of the person - Everyone has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes, to be free from all forms of violence and not to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way.
Freedom of religion, belief and opinion - Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion.
Freedom of expression - Everyone has the right to freedom of expression.
Freedom of association - Everyone has the right to freedom of association.
Freedom of movement and residence - Everyone has the right to freedom of movement.
Children - Every child has the right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation.
If you look at above you'll notice that ALL above items is about the individual, the person, character, identity and in fact everything that makes each of us a human being in own right with a free mind and soul.
In short everything is about the FREEDOM to BE YOU as individual human being.
Serious emotional and psychological abuse with specific a psychopath involved is an attack on everything above with the aim to gain complete control of the victim by stripping the person from his individuality, character, identity, free mind and soul.
It's an accepted and well-known fact that even ONCE-OFF physical deeds such as molestation and rape cause severe emotional and psychological LONG-TERM damages and the Courts give for that reason very harsh sentences even without any visible damages, yet, when a psychopath cause far more, day in and day out, year in and year out, emotional and psychological damages aimed at destroying the victim's whole human being, then there is little if any action against such "crazy abuser" or help or support for the victims due to a lack of understanding.
If violation of one's body, privacy and dignity with one rape is so serious, then what about the almost permanent and enduring violation of one's whole human being that left such victim without any own body, privacy, dignity, identity, individuality, own free mind and soul?
Even more is that, if a psychopath can do that with an adult with already developed identity, character, personality and everything, how much more emotional and psychological damages are caused in children under such person's full and legal control for years past and a lot more to come?
What must also be remembered is that, in normal abuse, violence, molestation and rape there are still positive aspects that can counter and balance the negative aspects out such as support from family and others, daily routine and circumstances etc, but in the case of severe emotional abuse such victims are almost always isolated from anyone and everything and permanently exposed to the negative aspects with little or even no positive aspects or factors that can soften the pain even temporally.
Above is so bad and insane that is almost impossible for any sane and rational person to comprehend, understand or even imagine it and that is part of the whole problem so hopefully this will help to shed some light on the serious nature of several emotional and psychological abuse.