Emotional Abuse

is a consistent pattern of behavior which results in the eventual demolition of another person's identity and healthy psychological, emotional and physical well-being.

Emotional abuse includes a variety of controlling tactics, together with manipulative techniques and strategies.

 

EA is an Unrecognized
Public Health Epidemic


How do you know
it's Emotional Abuse?

You may keep hearing things like:

"You're just being too sensitive!"
"You know what your problem is!"
"It was a joke!"
You may feel like your feelings, your opinions and your contributions are never valued.

If you don't have a say,
it may be EA!

The main difference between
Emotional Violence and
Physical Battery is that
with EA, you can't see
the bruises.

 

Consequences of EA

on the individual include:

an inability to feel emotions
an inability to trust
a variety of addictions
an inability to relate
an inability to make decisions
an array physical illnesses
anxiety, depression, suicide

 

Consequences of EA

on the community include:

bullying situations in schools
lower productivity at work
accident prone drivers

EA - THE GLASS WALL

Emotional abuse is a consistent pattern of behavior which results in the eventual demolition of another person's identity and healthy psychological, emotional and physical well-being. Emotional abuse includes a variety of controlling tactics, together with manipulative techniques and strategies.

Emotional abuse underlies all other "forms" of abuse. Labeling different so-called "kinds" of abuse and violence is arbitrary and ineffective. Emotional violation is inherent in every act of incest, rape and physical assault.

Emotional abuse is as least as damaging as any "other form" of abuse. But since there's no physical trail, survivors find themselves feeling totally frustrated and isolated. The unspoken social dismissal of emotional abuse combined with the scarring pain of the abuse itself are two factors that make emotional violence so traumatizing.

Victims of emotional abuse know they're in pain. But they usually can't put their finger on why. They're in a relationship and their partner is sending them one message half the time - the promise of love and affection - and another message the other half - a demeanor of cold disinterest, maybe peppered with manipulative half-truths. When the victim tries to connect with his promise of love, she crashes into a glass wall. She feels battered, bruised, and broken but can't find the cause.

She looks around and her partner is sitting blamelessly on the couch. He innocently lowers the newspaper. "What?" he wants to know. Unspoken is the sarcastic question, "What's your problem?"

He hasn't hit her. He hasn't pushed her down the stairs. He hasn't tried to pin her against the house with his car. But she feels like she's been run over by a truck and usually can't figure out why.

The above scenario describes an emotionally abusive man and a frustrated, victimized woman. We want to be clear that abuse, particularly emotional abuse, is not a gender specific issue. Emotional abuse is a psychological technique of control and manipulation. A person of either gender may be the perpetrator; a person of either gender may be the target. In fact, while victims of emotional abuse in general get little validation by society, when the target is a man, he may find he gets no validation of his problem, at all. The position of HEAL is that no one, in any circumstance, should have to endure control, coercion, manipulation or abuse of any kind.

The techniques of emotional abuse are defined by deception. When you're struck by a 2X4, you know what hit you. When the blow is delivered by a lie, and worse yet, a lie disguised in the trappings of love, you're left thinking you're the problem.

On upcoming pages of emotionalheal.org we'll pull off the masks, the tactics and the strategies that manipulators, controllers and emotional abusers hide behind. top

Common Misconceptions About

Emotional Abuse

EA isn't violent.
EA leaves no significant scars.
EA is only about yelling and calling names.
EA isn't all that serious.
EA isn't all that dangerous.
EA is only done by unshaven men who wear
undershirts and scream obscenities.
EA is about anger.
EA is about substance abuse.
EA only hurts for a minute.
EA can't be helped.
EA is normal.
EA is gender specific.
EA isn't deadly.

DON'T BELIEVE IT!

SOME OF THE KINDS OF ABUSE

Emotional
Verbal
psychological
Child
Elder
Bullying
Stalking
Ritual
Physical
Financial
Sexual
Incest
Dating
Acquaintance
Neglect
Animal cruelty
Addictions
"Therapeutic"
Professional
Workplace

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SOME TECHNIQUES OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE

[1] withholding
[2] countering
[3] discounting/devaluing
[4] dismissing
[5] verbal abuse presented as a "joke"
[6] blocking
[7] diverting
[8] accusing and blaming
[9] judging and criticizing
[10] trivializing
[11] name calling
[12] forgetting
[13] revising
[14] ordering
[15] manipulating
[16] denial
[17] abusive anger
[18] echoing (co-opting the victim's complaint)
[19] humiliation
[20] volume/tone of voice (hi/low, condescending, mocking)

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