Domestic abuse is a public health problem that affects millions of people worldwide.
What is Domestic Abuse? According to the NSPCC, domestic abuse is ‘any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship. But it isn’t just physical violence – domestic abuse includes emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse’.
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, yet it is something that is often overlooked, excused or disguised. Especially when it is verbal/emotional abuse.
Verbal abuse involves the language to undermine someone’s dignity and security through insults or humiliation, in a sudden or repeated manner. Abusers use this method as a means of gaining control over someone. Although its effects are not visible to the eye, as physical abuse, they can be just as bad and a lot worse with long-lasting effects.
Are you being verbally abused? There are many signs of verbal abuse, but here are 6 common signs to look out for!
- Judging and criticizing
They judge and criticize everything you do. This is similar to accusing you and blaming you for things that are not under your control. For example, your partner can get angry and call you names and yell at you and then blame you for their behaviour.
- Shouting and screaming
Your partner or close family member will lose their temper and start shouting and screaming at you over the smallest things. You begin to feel like you are ‘walking on eggshells’ when you are around this person.
- Jokes that hurt
Abusers may disguise their hurtful digs as jokes or banter. Often times you may find yourself the butt of the joke. It doesn’t matter how many times that person tells you they were just joking. It is plain old abuse with a snarky smile on top.
- Dismissal of your feelings
Your spouse may refuse to discuss those important issues that upset you. If you do get a chance to share how you feel about something they will dismiss your feelings, call you ‘oversensitive’ or ‘unforgiving’ and overemphasize the importance of moving in rather than holding themselves accountable. They may even use Bible texts against you if they can!
5. Manipulating your actions
They may constantly throw threatening words at you or make you feel extremely uncomfortable with the intention to manipulate you into complying with their desires when your best interest is usually not at heart.
They will make critical and/or sarcastic comments in private or in public to put you down and make you feel inferior and unworthy. These comments are commonly geared towards the way you look or your intelligence.
If you have experienced any of the above there is hope. You can rebuild your self-worth and experienced freedom even after living through abuse.