Is it Verbal Abuse or Freedom of Speech?
The First Amendment
The first amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the Freedom of Speech. This Freedom of speech gives everyone in the U.S. the right to speak freely without censorship or limitation. Thus, regardless of sex, color, class or creed, everyone has the right to freedom of expression.
However, such freedom becomes questionable in certain cases! For example, let's pay closer attention to the term verbal abuse. In a situation wherein an adult constantly keeps making derogatory statements about a child in his/her presence, such comments can cause psychological damages, seriously interfering with that child's positive development, and overtime may lead to significant detriment to that child's self-esteem and emotional well-being.
We may call this verbal abuse which may sometimes lead to physical abuse! However, regardless of the consequences, wasn't that individual just freely expressing him/ herself or opinions?
Because this bill of rights gives an individual the right to speak freely without censorship or limitation, regardless of what a person wants to say to another, shouldn't he/she be able to verbalize it without any reservation whatsoever?Why should anyone be in fear of possible consequences just because he/she honesty and openly say what's on the mind. How do we separate verbal abuse from freedom of speech? I guess it boils down to how you say it and not what you say! In this case, I guess context may be the difference!
In conclusion, I personally believe one should always use a certain degree of judgment before directing any statement towards their fellow human-being. We should first think about things like the person's race, culture, religion and the possible implication. You should also bear in mind all possible emotional harms that it may cause. Last but not least, before you direct any statement towards anyone, take a minute or two and just think about how would you feel if someone else were to direct the same statement towards you. "Do unto others as you would like others do unto you."