Some Problematic Aspects of The Doctrine of Mental Violence

Jolita Šukytė, Renata Marcinauskaitė


Given the fact that the doctrine of mental violence formed in the theory of criminal law is rather broad and the element of mental violence analyzed in various aspects is subject to the Criminal Law institute where it is used, some problematic fields of this doctrine have been chosen for analysis.
The article points out that there is no single opinion of Criminal Law specialists on the potential forms of expression of mental violence. Some authors interpret the forms of mental expression quite broadly by ascribing the threat to mental violence as well as other variants of its expression, for example, physical violence, insult, slander, administering some narcotic or psychotropic substances. Meanwhile others consider various types of threats as the only way of mental violence, because the essence of mental violence is firstly related to causing fear in another person. Physical violence is ascribed to this threatening effect as well. It is worth mentioning that physical violence has always been related to a negative effect on a person’s psyche, however, not all such abuse should be regarded as mental violence. Therefore, physical violence can be considered as mental violence only if the perpetrator tries to frighten a person while attacking one physically or using other types of abuse.
The article also discusses the issue of the blackmailing dilemma, which is related to the substantiation problems of criminalization of this deed, analyzed in most works by Criminal Law specialists. Economic and liberal theories, as well as the theory of the third party, have been invoked as the basis of the analysis of the blackmailing dilemma.


mental violence; physical violence; psychological compression; blackmail dilemma

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236