Visitor Question

Do I have any legal case against my abusive mother?

Submitted By: C (AZ, U.S.A.)

I turned 18 in July and escaped my abusive mother a week afterwards. She had been abusing me since I was a child. It increased ten-fold when my father died and she could isolate me from everyone and do whatever she wanted with me.

There was never any sexual abuse (I’m female) but she beat me, choked me, and basically tormented me multiple times a week for at least eight years, if not longer. She kept me from school and though she kept me fed, clothed, and housed, she did not do anything to take care of my mind and emotions.

She abused me emotionally and my counselor has stated that I show signs of PTSD and Stockholm Syndrome. There are CPS cases against her but they do not involve me. One case was dropped, though I think one might still be technically active.

I can barely function as a human being because of this woman, and I want to know if there’s any way I can start to bring her to justice for what she’s done to me? Do I have a case against her? What can I do? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear C,

From the facts you present, you seem to have a legitimate and viable claim against your abusive mother for the torment she made you suffer through.

Here’s the problem… If your mother does not have substantial assets, including but not limited to cash in bank accounts, stocks, bonds, real estate, etc., then suing her would be a waste of time. Additionally, if your mother does not have substantial assets, you won’t be able to find an attorney to accept your case. You would have to sue her yourself, and you can be sure that will be nearly impossible to do successfully.

To succeed in a lawsuit against your mother would require you filing a lawsuit. To support your lawsuit would also require you to have expert testimony supporting your claims of abuse, and the manner in which that abuse adversely affected you.

You would also likely need your doctor to testify in court under oath. Unless you have the available funds to pay his or her fees to do so, you will not be able to avail yourself of their expert testimony. Of course, you can subpoena the doctor for free, but doing so will likely backfire, as your doctor might not be sympathetic to your having dragged him or her into court.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 30, 2015

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