If you break a person then they are incapable of functioning as they normally do. This can have an effect on their life, work, behavior and even mental function. Making it a punishable crime would stop unscrupulous people going around destroying other people's lives on a whim or simply because they get off on the power they can wield.
The emotions inflicted from a person, is not easily covered up with a band-aid and can leave a longlasting effect. I think that in suicide cases, this is especially evident due to bullying. If someone is going through enough trouble to emotionally knock someone down, they should have to face punishments as it is as bad as hurting them physically.Sometimes emotional wounds will not fade, but physical ones will.
But you can't ban people for saying opinions about others, however hateful those opinions may be. There's always going to be people who don't like you and are total pains in the butts to be around. But we can't ban their right to say their cruel opinions. Life is not fair.
When you rape someone (who wasn't a virgin) and didn't harm them physically, did you really 'break' anything other than emotions? You technically only emotionally broke them. Yet, I believe this is a crime (which it is :P). But if a guy breaks up with a girl because she was too clingy and she commits suicide, should he be arrested? Hell no. And there's really no 100% sure way of proving you emotionally broke someone (even in cases of rape, it's very hard to prove guilty if there were no witnesses or tangible evidence). Also, adultery is a criminal offense in more than 75% of states. Did you also really 'break' anything here other than emotions? For me, this issue is yes/no but I'm leaning more towards no since the only counterexample I can come up with is rape and adultery.
Emotion can't be quantified. That means you can't put it into words or numbers how you would describe a person's emotional suffering. You would need to be able to quantify emotion in order to differentiate regular emotional ups and downs from emotions caused by being broken down. You can't rate emotions on a scale of one to ten, and even if you did, it would be fabricated.
People could turn around things on the actual victim. Like someone who charges someone with rape, but doesn't have enough evidence to convict. Then the rapist can now punish the victim legally because the victim put the rapist through an ordeal where he was "falsely accused" and it humiliated him and ruined his reputation, dreams and success.
There would be so much "he said, she said" that it would be impossible to identify. Emotional abuse is one of the hardest abuses to detect, but signs are usually nervousness and fear, which often prevent a witness from even testifying in the first place.
To me, the idea sounds like a can or worms.
In K-12 as teenagers are still developing schools should use detention and suspension as appropriate when kids are getting on the verbal bullying or the rumor mill. Still, it is not always possible to predict what will emotionally break a person. You are creating a crime that is very very easy for a person to commit by accident. Worse yet if you're the sort of person who knows he has trouble telling when others will be offended you may just stop talking to people out of fear.
Furthermore, it comes down to personal responsibility. Passing a law like this would send the message that if someone is mean to you you are automatically a victim and that you must feel bad from it and let it hurt you. That's the wrong message. People need to be taught to manage their own emotions and to become emotionally independent of things other people say.
Emotional breaking can be caused by a simple misunderstanding or an argument taken out of context, (girls especially). Come on now, how can that be illegal? It would technically by "my word against yours" if taken to court. Unless it was electronic communication, it would be literally impossible to determine what was said.
For such a thing to be possible interaction on a personal level between the 2 parts is necessary Shall one part refuse dialogue this cannot happen, thus both parts must be involved in this, over their own accord for such a thing to happen.
In case such a thing does not happen than it falls under harassment.
If the emotional breaking of someone is not purposely done it shouldn't be regarded as a crime because we do not have control over how some people will react toward different actions. But if it is purposely done to the person it shouldn't just be ignored, but still, unless it has driven them to suicide it definitely shouldn't be a crime.
Not everything needs to be handled by law, plain and simple. Ostracism is a more appropriate method since it won't be harsh to someone who has done nothing wrong(in most cases) and the fact is that emotionally hurting someone can not be limited. To limit what we can do to someone's emotions is to limit freedom of speech. You can not control people's minds and so bullying in the non-physical sense should be handled through organizational and societal ostracism(ex. schools and communities) but to make it a law wouldn't make sense.
This can't be a crime, because everybody has different emotional limits. What emotionally breaks one person, such as a break up, may not even harm another person. So if we punished emotionally breaking someone, that would be very subjective and not equitable at all. This subjectivity makes it a bad law.
Now, when I say that it shouldn't be a crime I say that because there are probably many times where someone has emotionally broken down someone but not with the intention to. If it were a crime then anyone with sensitive feelings could claim someone did it to them and then they would have to be punished. There are too many variables when it comes to emotions so for it to be a true crime it would have to be something really messed up and devastating.