However, there is a difference between a complete stranger shouting insults at us on the street, and being defamed by our significant other in the very private and intimate sphere of our home, which has more serious consequences.
If our partner insults us constantly it might hide a much more serious situation, because isolated events are different from patterns of behaviour which are maintained over long periods of time. The fact that they are repetitive is what makes you feel uncomfortable and uneasy, so much so that it can at times become a habitual domestic abuse offence.
WHAT TO DO IF…
If your significant other insults you, this will usually take place at home where there are no witnesses. So, it is easy to think that it will be impossible to prove in court, as it’s a case of “their word against mine”.
This is naturally true, but nowadays it’s very easy to record a conversation on our phones, and that recording can later be used during a trial.
It should be noted that you do not need the aggressor’s consent to record the conversation; if you are a party to the conversation you have a right to record it in order to protect yourself against assault.
EXAMPLES OF DEFAMATION OFFENCES
Ever since our son was born, my wife has been on edge and she regularly insults me. I think she’s overwhelmed by the entire situation, but I honestly don’t believe I should have to put up with her insulting me constantly. I didn’t mind at the beginning, but I am really fed up now and want to put an end to it.
My husband has a terrible relationship with my family, and any time I want to go see them he insults them and me. This really affects me, because I love him dearly but I also love my family; I often cry when he is so verbally aggressive.
My wife takes medication to calm her nerves, but sometimes she mixes it with alcohol or just doesn’t take it – when this happens, she turns very aggressive with me and the children. They are very small, and are terrified. It really affects me when she yells and insults the kids, because they start crying and I don’t know how to diffuse the tension.