In a landmark ruling, the Turkish Supreme Court of Appeals has fined a man for saying, “I don’t love you” to his wife, characterizing the statement as an act of emotional abuse.
The country’s top court ruled that the husband should pay compensation for subjecting his wife to “emotional violence,” according to Daily Sabah. The couple was in the midst of divorce proceedings, with both parties seeking compensation from one another for insults exchanged.
The wife had claimed that her spouse frequently left their home and did not care about her wellbeing. She claimed that she was “emotionally wrecked” after her partner told her, “You don’t have a right to speak. I don’t love you.”
The husband meanwhile accused the wife of constantly “cursing” at him. Earlier, a local court in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa dismissed the case, ruling that both parties were equally at fault.
The woman then appealed the case to the Supreme Court, which said that the husband’s wrongdoing weighed more than the wife’s, and ruled that he must pay her compensation.
The court decision is part of an effort to crackdown on domestic violence in the country. A total of 42 percent of Turkish women face abuse at the hands of the partners or male relatives, according to a widely cited 2009 study conducted by the National Research Project on Domestic Violence Against Women in Turkey.
In addition, violence against women is behind 20 percent of the country’s divorces, according to a government survey.