Posts Tagged ‘emotional abuse’

Verbal abuse, while being very common, is difficult to spot. Often, a person doesn’t realize that they are being verbally abused. It can be very subtle. It can be passive aggressive comments. It can be constant sarcastic remarks.

  1. Molly and Jess have been married for a number of years. They have two children. He constantly makes comments about her weight. In fact, when she is nursing their first child, he wants her to go on a diet to lose the “baby weight” so she stops nursing to diet. She loses all the weight but he still calls her “fatso,” “chubs,” “baby whale,” and other names. When they go out to dinner, he waits until the food comes and she has the first bite on her fork ready to go in her mouth then he says “Are you sure you should be eating that?” Every single time. When they’re out in public, he won’t walk near her. He walks in front of her or behind her. When he sees someone who is very obese, he tells her that’s what she looks like, even though she is only five or six pounds overweight. He tells their kids to look at their fat mom. He tells her she has no will power and won’t ever lose the weight.
  2. Sharon and Bob have been in a relationship for six years. He constantly calls her “stupid” and “dumb” and “idiot.” Anything he sees as a mistake he blames on her and says it’s because she’s stupid. He laughs at her and jokes in front of their friends that she was too stupid to get in line when brains were handed out. He stalls when the subject of marriage comes up and tells her he’ll marry her when she loses her “stupidness.”
  3. Barbara and Henry have two pre-teen children. He verbally abuses her constantly. She puts up with it because of the kids. She doesn’t want to uproot them or make life difficult for them. So she stays. Recently, Henry has begun to call their 12 year old daughter “stupid.” He tells her she’s gaining weight and is going to be a “fat stupid pig” like her mother. He tells her she can’t do anything right and maybe if she weren’t so stupid she could figure out how to do things right. He calls her a “fat slob.”
  4. Tim is fifteen years old. His father is constantly criticizing everything he does. His school grades are not good enough. He doesn’t do his chores right. He’s too slow getting ready for school. He is not responsible. He can’t be trusted. He’s too dumb to be sent on errands. When he is sent on errands, his dad always finds something wrong with the results.

Why is verbal abuse so bad? It’s not just words. It is a constant undermining. It is a constant barrage of criticism. It is meant to make the person feel inferior to the one abusing. It causes low self-esteem. The person being verbally abused begins to believe the abusive words. They stop trying because they feel they won’t ever “get it right.”

Verbal abuse is often more destructive than physical abuse and always harder to spot.


For more posts on Abuse, click here.

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There are many questions surrounding abuse. While we are getting good at finding answers, we still don’t have all the answers. Below are a lot of questions and some links to help YOU find some ways to understand and to help. Some of the questions have no links. Why? Because there are few answers and few lights to shed on them. For now, they are “thinking questions.”

Why do people abuse?


Why do abused people stay in those relationships?


compelling reasons women stay




Why do parents put their kids through the horrors of domestic violence?


Why do children keep their abuse a secret?




Why are children abused?



Why do parents abuse their children?


Why do people abuse elders?



Why do abusers pick the most vulnerable people?

What is domestic violence and abuse?


What’s the big deal about verbal abuse? It’s only words.

Click to access What_Is_Emotional_Verbal_Abuse.pdf

What is emotional abuse?


How can you help an abuse woman in an abusive relationship?



How can you help a child in an abusive home?



How can you tell when a child has been abused?




How can you tell when a spouse is covering up their spouses abuse?

How can you tell if an elderly person is being abused?

What can communities do to help those in abuse relationships?

What can communities do to help protect children from abusive adults?

What can we do to help protect children from abusive children?

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Child Abuse is a tough subject. Today I will just lay out some of the forms of abuse and what they encompass. Later in this series I will try to make the connection to actual children a little more concrete.

There are four major types of child abuse: physical abuse; mental or psychological abuse; sexual abuse; and neglect.

Physical abuse is an injury resulting from aggression, even if the intent was not to abuse. These injuries can be the result of hitting, slapping, biting, pushing, pinching, kicking, shaking, hair pulling, burning, or other severe physical punishment. Physical abuse can also be the result of illness, such as Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome (where an adult induces an illness in a child so that he/she can get attention from others as the caregiver). Shaken Baby Syndrome is another example of physical child abuse, as is exposing an unborn child to drugs by consuming them during pregnancy.

Hundreds of thousands of children are abused every year by someone who is close to them and is supposed to love them. Thousands of these children die each year as a result of this abuse. Those that survive are emotionally scarred.

Emotional or mental or psychological abuse is the result of any attitude, behavior, or failure to act that interferes with the mental or social development of a child. It can be as simple as verbal abuse or as extreme as as severe punishment. Mental or emotion abuse is almost always present when other types of abuse are present.

Emotional or mental abuse can come from a parent, a teacher, clergy, coach, other children and bullies.

Sexual abuse of a child can be fondling or violating a child’s physical/bodily privacy. Exposing a child to sexual situations, including sex acts, pornographic material, and commercial sexual exploitation (prostitution). The abusers can be one or both parents, a teacher, a coach, any person in authority, older siblings, neighbors, strangers, foster parents, and many adults in other authoritative situations.

Neglect is a tricky one and effects more children than those who are sexually abused and physically abused combined. Physical neglect is when a child’s physical needs, such as food, shelter, medicine, or supervision is denied. Educational neglect is when a parent/caregiver fails to enroll a school aged child in school, or when they fail to provide/find needed special education. It also includes allowing a child to stay home excessively when not sick. Some parents fail to provide the emotional support and caring that a child needs. They fail to address a child’s emotional needs, including seeking psychological treatment.

My 2016 A to Z Challenge Posts:






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