Abuse and the Eggshell Skull Rule

It came to my mind after I had written “a differentiating factor between survivors and victims” it occurred to me that there’s a lot of some degree of subjectivity in regards to people who legitimately claim to were abused. It’s not an accident that I’ve recently learned about the eggshell skull rule.

It’s a topic worth studying. This is the technical explanation for the Eggshell Skull Rule:

“Doctrine that holds defendants liable for plaintiff’s unexpected and unpredictable reaction to the defendant’s negligence or intentional act of tort (civil wrong. If the defendant is found guilty of committing an act against the plaintiff in the absence of having a full defence, then the defendant will be accountable for any harm which is exacerbated by the unique character of the plaintiff. “[1]

An easier explanation is this:

“The rule says that in a tort action the unintentional fragility of the victim is not an adequate defense against the severity of any harm that they may have suffered. “[2]

In the language of the majority eggshell skull rules stipulates that if one is hit on the head by a forcefully thrown feather and sustains an injury as their skull is made from eggshell, the blame can be all on the person who flies the feather’s feet. It’s a bit scary, isn’t it?

If we cause harm to someone whether we did it intentionally or not and they sustain an unanticipated and particularly unusual injury, we’re at fault.

This is a recognized rule of common law. This is the type of law that courts use where people can be accused of causing damages. This isn’t the kind of court that will send the defendant to jail.

What is this got to do with be related to abuse? Actually, quite a lot.

This means that we can’t tell an individual that there was not enough power or motive to be able to prove that they were abused. This means that abuse is not solely defined by the acts done against the victim however, it is defined by the injury they suffered.

They could be a particularly vulnerable, and the harm they caused may not have caused someone who is more resilient to sustain such harm.

The benefit of this law’s principle is that it safeguards the most vulnerable individuals. The best part for the person who has been the victim or survivor of abuse is that they don’t need to prove that the amount of abuse is unacceptable. They already have proof of the abuse that they are.

According to my understanding the way I see it, if a person suffers from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and did not have it prior to the event when a single event caused it, then there was a triggering event. That could be the (potential) wrong – an offense that is civil. The rule will likely apply far beyond this specific instance. (Not being an attorney myself I simply want to make clear the significance this rule.)

It is possible to say that it is important to be aware of what constitutes false claims from authentic claim.

There’s a hypothetical instance of a woman who has been known to make a claim about sexual encounters on one hand, but claims to have been sexually assaulted on the other hand. Many would suggest that this is a false claim due to the fact that she discussed the incident in exaggerated words. Maybe this was part of a strange (although not unheard of) strategy to cope. This may not be the right thing to do. In the later stages, when she is reflecting on her experience, she is aware of the emotional and mental toll. She’s depressed, angry and in a state of disfunction. It is possible that she has been diagnosed with PTSD. We might feel sorry for the man, because of her manner of speaking at first. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the harm has already been caused. This is only one hypothetical instance. I can imagine the discussion this particular example might generate I pray that we be able to reflect on this principle and its unquestionable power for the vulnerable.

I’m glad that there is many perspectives on this issue.

I, too, have strong opinions however they do change when I’m exposed information. I’m grateful that the eggshell skull rule as it protects people who are accidentally or purposely injured.

It isn’t important the actions you took or did not do. The most important thing is the impact. This rule is intended to stimulate us to think about the way we interact with others.

It’s designed to inspire us to look after others as there is no better reason then to take care of oneself?

It is possible to call the law a sham however it’s still the law and it’s only a matter of wisdom to adhere to.

[1] Source: Cornell Law School

[2] Source: Wikipedia.

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