A Court Has Ruled Signing Off Messages With 'X' Isn't Flirting
A woman who ended text conversations with her estranged husband with a kiss wasn't being "flirtatious", a family court judge has ruled.
The British woman who is in the middle of a Family Court trial alleged her husband had been abusive towards her.
The man's defence in the case -- which is focused on their child -- was if he had been abusive towards her, the woman wouldn't have "repeatedly" signed off with a "flirtatious" kiss symbol during their exchanges.
Judge Farooq Ahmed opposed the man's argument and said that was "just her way of signing off".
"The father relies upon numerous text messages... in which the mother repeatedly signs off with a kiss. He regards this as flirtatious and not something that she would have done had she really regarded him as an abuser.
"I find that the mother was not being flirtatious. It was just her way of signing off. The father is wrong to read anything into it," the Judge wrote in published findings.
The meaning of symbols changes over time, Dr Belinda Barnet, Social Media Major Director at Swinburne University, told 10 daily.
"In Australia, the 'x' is more a sign of friendliness or closeness, and sometimes takes the place of 'cheers' or 'bye'," she explained.
One in four women have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner since the age of 15 in Australia, according to a 2017 study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Psychological and emotional abuse in relationships was recently ruled a criminal offence in Ireland, with victims of 'coercive control' protected under the Domestic Violence Act 2018.
Featured image: Getty.