What is emotional abuse or verbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner?
Mental, psychological, or emotional abuse can be verbal or nonverbal. Verbal or nonverbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner consists of more subtle actions or behaviors than physical abuse. While physical abuse might seem worse, the scars of verbal and emotional abuse are deep. Studies show that verbal or nonverbal abuse can be much more emotionally damaging than physical abuse.
Verbal or nonverbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner may include:
- Threatening or intimidating to gain compliance.
- Destruction of the victim’s personal property and possessions, or threats to do so.
- Violence to an animal or object (such as a wall or piece of furniture) in the presence of their partner, as a way of instilling fear.
- Yelling, screaming, name-calling.
- Shaming, mocking, or criticizing the victim, either alone or in front of others.
- Possessiveness, isolation from friends and family.
- Blaming the victim for how the abuser acts or feels.
- Telling the victim that they are worthless on their own.
- Making the victim feel that there is no way out of the relationship.
If you are or have experienced this type of abuse please seek professional help. Look up ‘domestic violence’ in your local phone book.