Shine a light on violence against women
Day 5 - emotional violence
*Thanks to the UI Counseling Center for this information
Emotional abuse is any behaviour that is designed, and used, to control and overpower someone through the use of fear, humiliation and verbal assaults. Unlike physical abuse, the people doing it and receiving it may not even know it's happening.
Emotional abuse can be likened to 'brain-washing' as it can wear away someone's self-confidence, self-worth and sense of self. Emotional abuse can create scars that are deeper and more lasting than physical ones.
Emotional abuse can include anything that impacts the mental health and well being of their partner. It can include:
- name calling, insults, put downs
- blaming the victim for everything
- jealousy, unfounded accusations of cheating
- shaming, humiliation
- socially isolating the victim from friends and family
- getting angry if a victim does not immediately return calls
- needing to know where the victim is at all times
- following the victim without their knowledge
There are different types of emotional abuse:
These are the more aggressive forms of abuse including:
- name calling
- threatening and;
This form of abuse is usually direct and obvious. More indirect forms of this type of abuse can be disguised as 'helping' such as criticising, advising, offering solutions, analysing, probing and questioning another person.
This form of abuse seeks to distort or undermine a victims perceptions. Eg the abuser may insist "I never said that" or "I don't know what you're talking about." Withdrawal such as refusing to listen and communicate and emotionally withdrawing (eg the "silent treatment") is another type of emotional abuse.
With minimising, an abuser may not deny an event occurred, but question the victims reaction (eg "you're too sensitive" "you're blowing this out of proportion") to suggest that a victims reactions are wrong.
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