Seek Emotional and Verbal Abuse Treatment and Counseling
According to the 2001-2005 Bureau of Justice Statistics, women are much more likely to be a victim of non-fatal abuse by their intimate partner regardless of their socio-economic status. The same Bureau of Justice Statistics also finds that women from low-income status are more likely to be a victim of non-fatal abuse by their intimate partner. Thus, women off all social and economic levels especially poor women are victimized by non-fatal abuse by their intimate partners more frequently than their male counterparts. From the same Bureau of Justice Statistics study from 2001-2005, you can see that American Indian and Alaskan Native women top the list overwhelmingly! Then astonishingly the next list of most affected by non-fatal intimate abuse are American Indian men! Followed by Black (African American) women and then by White (Caucasian) women. Asian women, Black (African American) males, and White (Caucasian) men bottom out the list but their numbers are no where close to the top four most likely victims of non-fatal intimate abuse.
The Bureau doesn't give a reason why the level of non-fatal abuse among American Indian men and women is so high with American Indian or Alaskan Native women being twice as likely to b a victim of non-fatal abuse than the men. However, since violence is a way of maintaining control, this offers some explanation for the high incident of non-fatal abuse in male dominated cultures.
At least 35 to 40 percent of women who have been involved in romantic relationships which includes marriage have been abused on some level by their intimate partner. This number may be much higher because many women do not report abuse because of the shame associated with it. Physical abuse and sexual abuse are more easily recognizable because you can put a name to it. However, verbal abuse, emotional abuse and mental abuse are not so easy to recognize and thus it can lead to dire consequences including victim suicide.
What Is Abuse and How Do You Recognize it? Why Are Emotional And Verbal Abuse Not Quickly Reported?
According to Dictionary.com abuse is defined as the following:
- To use wrongly or improperly; misuse: to abuse one's authority.
- To treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way: to abuse a horse; to abuse one's eyesight.
- To speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign.
- To commit sexual assault upon.
- Obsolete . to deceive or mislead
So as you can see, the term abuse covers a wide range of mistreatment. And while some abuse are easy to recognize and report, others such as verbal abuse, or emotional and mental abuse are not as easy to recognized and report.
Most people are taught to be careful what you say because your words can have consequences. Some religions teach you to think ten times before you speak. However, the verbal abuser is free with his tongue. He might call you the most derogatory of names and then tell you it's your fault he speaks to you like that. He might tell you that you are worthless at something, and just sometimes tell you that you a just worthless period! He might say to you, "I should have married such and such, she would have made a better wife." He might tell you that you are fat and ugly or that you are physically unappealing to him and most men. He might call you stupid or tell you that he doesn't want his kids to turn out like you. These are all forms of verbal abuse that can be very damaging and devastating to the woman or the person being verbally abuse. Verbal abuse eventually leads to emotional and mental destruction of the victim. There is no excuse for someone to talk to you as if you were less than they and that your feelings don't mean anything.
Emotional abuse it akin to verbal abuse because with the misuse of the tongue, comes the emotional damage associated with it. So the man who calls you all sorts of names and degrades and demeans you before your family and friends but especially in private, is also attacking you emotionally. You begin to feel as if you are worthless and do not deserve to be loved. He puts down everything you down and makes you feel worthless. Although telling you that you are worthless is verbal abuse, actually doing things to make you feel worthless is emotional and mental abuse. Together, these things can lead a woman into depression, make her lose self esteem and even want to commit suicide depending on how long the abuse has been taking place and how deeply she has been wounded.
An emotionally abusive man can make a 4 star chef feel as if she can't even boil a pot of water right and an MBA graduate feel as if she's too stupid to do a simple household budget. This is how emotional abuse works and it is perhaps more dangerous than physical abuse because it is not easily recognized. Many men and women who abuse verbally and emotionally don't even recognize that they are doing it because it is the way they were raised and it is what they experienced growing up in their family dynamic. While others know exactly what they are doing and use it as a form of control and domination. When you make someone feel like they have no worth, then they feel as if they can't do anything without you and thus becomes emotionally dependent. This is why even with the most severe cases of emotional abuse you see the person still willing to stay with their abuser, because their self esteem has been severely damaged. If you try to tell him how you feel, he's attack your emotional and mental stability because he is too much of a coward to face up to what he's doing. You will find that a lot of emotionally abusive people, men in particular will say that their intimate other is mentally unstable especially if he puts on an act in the public of being the perfect boyfriend, husband or father. He doesn't want anything to shatter that public image of himself so he remains a coward by call you a nut case or something that attacks your mental stability. This further leads to mental and emotional damage.
Emotional and verbal abuse are more subtle but they are just as dangerous as any other forms of abuse. They need to be dealt with before the damage gets so bad that it cannot be repaired.
What Should I Do If I Am Abused By A Friend Or Intimate Partner?
Never keep your abuse a secret. This is what the abuser wants, to keep you under control and in fear. If you keep it a secret because you think no one will believe you because of the public image he maintains, then it will just keep happening until the emotional and verbal abuse escalates up physical abuse or you decide to end your own life. You have to tell someone. Start with a male family member or someone he respects who can talk to him. Sometimes, this works when someone they know and trust can tell them what they are not willing and don't want to hear from you. So ask someone that he trusts and respects to talk to him about his abusive habits. He may try to blame everything on you or tell the person that you have mental issues (as abusers typically do), but hopefully handling it within the family or among friends can help you move toward a better relationship. Depending on how long you have been emotionally and verbally abused, you may need to have counseling to help you deal with those emotions.
Seek Counseling Together
If there is no one that you can go to that he trusts, then suggest that you both go see a counselor. More than likely, he'll refuse because he'd rather continue with his abusive ways than to face up to what he's doing. It is a coward who abuses someone else, whether the abuser is male or female. They are insecure and afraid of something and they are afraid you will see them for who they are or others will see them for who they are. People who abuse need counseling themselves.
Tell him how you feel, don't allow anyone to take that ability away from you to tell them how their actions make your feel. This is also one of the abuser's tactics to make you feel as if you are making things up, because "everything is fine" or that you complain too much. If he refuses counseling, then you have to decide if you are going to stay in the relationship or leave. Statistics show that while some people do make an effort to change, a majority of abusers will NOT change without intervention whether by the police or by a counselor. They need to admit that they have abused you and take steps to improve. Otherwise your best option may be to leave the relationship. If you do seek counseling together, make sure you write down everything you can remember that your intimate other said to you, and all the times you can remember that you were emotionally or verbally abused. Give this letter to the counselor beforehand so the counselor knows what's going on. Abusers tend to put their best foot forward, so the counselor may not be able to recognize the abuser as being abusive because their personality during the counseling sessions have changed to make a good impression. The letter will also help you because the counselor will know what to address and you may be too nervous during counseling to remember everything that's been happening to you. Your partner's abuse may have already taken it's toll and you may not be able to express yourself because of the damage that has already taken place.
See legal counsel if you have property and children or if you think your intimate other may react violently. If at anytime you feel you may be in danger, call the police and call a local shelter for abused women. WomensShelters.org has a list of women's shelters all over the United States that can help you out of a dangerous situation if it comes to that. You can also call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) for help and guidance.
Seek Counseling For Yourself
As stated above you may need to seek counseling for yourself regardless to whether you stay in the relationship or leave. Abuse does not discriminate among race or social status. Although it is typically higher among the poor for many reasons, it still affects a good amount of all races, and people of all socio-economic status. The effects of emotional, mental and verbal abuse can be devastating. It could cause depression, eating disorders and health problems, loss of self-esteem which leads to loss of ambition and loss of a sense of self worth-which can cause you to put yourself in places and doing things your would not necessarily do if you were yourself, and finally, it can cause the abused to cause self-inflicted wounds including death. Other disastrous side effects of emotional and verbal abuse include panic and anxiety attacks as well as alcohol and drug abuse. If you have been the victim of emotional, mental and verbal abuse, you really should seek counseling to help you deal with those emotions. These types intense emotions left bottled up can only cause you more problems if buried or left unattended. Some victims of this type of abuse may have to have therapy for years depending on the extent of the damage. Seek counseling especially if you have children, because victims of any type of abuse tend to abuse their children in the same manner. Seeking counseling regardless to whether you stay or you go is a very important step.
Although abuse is majority perpetrated against women by men. There are men who are emotionally and physically abused as well. SAFE (Stop Abuse For Everyone) has a list of resources for abused men, that you can access for help. Men will often encounter this type of abuse in marriage or when some men go through divorce. Whether male or female, you have to get help to stop the cycle of abuse before it does irreparable damage.
Note: It is important to always seek the help of a woman's shelter or the police if you fear your partner may become violent upon being confronted with abuse allegations. You should never do this alone if you know your partner can easily become violent. Seek professional assistance.
Books That May Help You Recognize and Deal With Emotional and Verbal Abuse
You can order all of these books on Emotional and Verbal Abuse from Amazon.
Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse
The Unloved: How Emotional Abuse Destroys Our Souls
Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to recognize it and how to respond
The Emotionally Abused Woman : Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself
Why is he so mean to me?