Personal note: I have been doing some reading on LAS (legal abuse syndrome) and PTSD since I have begun to fear my own shadow. I hate the doorbell to ring, I run to the window to try to see who it might be, and rarely answer, if someone knocks on the door with any force I am paralyzed. I do not like to answer the phone and thank God for caller ID, when I go out of the house, heaven help me if I see a child who reminds me of what we have lost, I can not tell you the times I have spent vomiting in public toilets, a police car in the rear view mirror leads to deep breathing and panic attacks, the thought of walking in a courtroom is enough to reduce me to a shaking mess. Certain names like Robin Jensen, Lisa Voght, James Parker, and Brena Slater can cause me to feel a sense of violation like no other. Sleep rarely happens and is often interrupted by nightmares, or even worse waking and screaming for your child. No one cares, all of those I thought would protect us have not only failed us but willingly allowed misconduct and lies. Those I held in high regard due to their positions of trust and power I have found to have let their power corrupt their values and morals. Do I think I am ill, yes I know I am, I have a good doctor who is trying to help, a church to support me and my husband and children who have stood by me, but I also know I will never be the same person I was, I will never trust in the “system” and have been totally disillusioned by what I always thought was my constitutional rights as an American Citizen not only being disregarded but willfully being tramples on by those sworn to protect them.
If you have any of these feeling or thoughts you are not alone and it is not in your head, seek help.
Many victims of the legal system suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, identified as Legal Abuse Syndrome, brought on by the abusive and protracted litigation, prevalent in our courts.
You may be suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome if you feel deeply disillusioned and oppressed as a result of your experience with the legal system; if you feel you were frustrated in obtaining justice; if you feel your dreams and plans for your life were torn from you by a system that is supposedly there to protect your rights and property; if you fear that the system will defeat you at every turn and there is nothing you can do about it, and if you feel that you have been victimized several times over, by the perpetrators, by lawyers, judges, bailiffs, DCF employees and other court personnel.
As a consequence you may suffer from tension and anxiety, recurring nightmares you may feel emotionally an physically exhausted, numb, disconnected and vulnerable.
Victims of legal abuse syndrome typically jump when a phone or doorbell rings, check obsessively to see if windows and doors are locked and try to avoid anything that reminds them of the legal system. [this sounds just like my life]
“I’ve known some who can’t even walk into a courthouse,” says Huffer. “They’ll take a detour just to avoid seeing it.”
In severe cases, physical problems arise: High blood pressure, chronic fatigue and heart attacks. Among the most susceptible to the disorder are people with cases in family court, says Huffer. They fight over their houses, their children and other intensely personal matters, and are prone to crack under the emotional pressure.
The enormous betrayals and inefficiencies that make up bureaucratic post-crime experiences are literally attacking the emotional health of the nation. She recommends that the community of American citizens adopt the following:
|1.||Oppression and abuse of power are injurious to the health of the victims. Domination by abusers of bureaucratic power threatens the very functionality of the public and private sections in our country.|
Victims are not self interested, narcissistic folks who sit around and
wallow in their losses. They are courageous individuals who face their pain and care to right the wrongs. They participate in the collision of evil and good as it is classically intended in order to achieve balance. Denial is popular, but far less responsible.
Trust is a social staple that must be protected just as earth and water must be protected to provide for survival. When trust is damaged the community suffers and society as a whole will eventually falter and collapse (Bok). Veterans of crime must exude zero tolerance for lying in courtrooms, lying in political campaigns, lying to cover-up, and deceptions through omission and nonperformance by public officials and public servants.
“Anyone who has ever worked in a legal aid office or law library has met people whose lives have come unhinged after a bad contact with the legal system. The details vary; they may have lost a business or inheritance or the custody of a child, but the common theme of feeling violated by the legal system does not. Even 20 years after losing a lawsuit, some people who suffer from legal abuse syndrome still carry a suitcase of old legal papers around, desperately hoping someone will help them find justice.”
Co-founder and former President,
NOLO Press, http://www.nolo.com
LEGAL ABUSE SYNDROME, Kerin Huffer M.S., her website is www.legalabusesyndrome.com or www.legalabusesyndrome.org
A new cause of action that is a new bases for lawsuits is being accepted by the courts allowing cases to proceed on claims of “organic brain injury” caused by traumatic stress. An article appeared on this on November 11, 2002 in the National Law Journal. Click here to see full article.
Harassment related emotional distress is being recognized in the work field upon which lawyers are now suing. To read the article by by Joni Johnston, Psy.D. Click here There is no reason why the same facts and reasoning should not apply to the harassment inflicted on victims in a lawsuit.