You may think domestic violence is limited to either physical abuse or bullying, but abuse is all about gaining and keeping power. The cycle of violence can continue to repeat itself and the abuse often worsens over time.
Emotional abuse is a form of domestic violence that includes many hurtful tactics
- Verbal abuse: yelling at you, insulting you or swearing at you.
- Rejection: Constantly rejecting your thoughts, ideas and opinions.
- Gaslighting: making you doubt your own feelings and thoughts, and even your sanity, by manipulating the truth. For more information on how gaslighting works, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
- Put-downs: calling you names or telling you that you’re stupid, publicly embarrassing you, blaming you for everything. Public humiliation is also a form of social abuse.
- Causing fear: making you feel afraid, intimidated or threatened.
- Isolation: limiting your freedom of movement, stopping you from contacting other people (such as friends or family). It may also include stopping you from doing the things you normally do – social activities, sports, school or work. Isolating someone overlaps with social abuse.
- Financial abuse: controlling or withholding your money, preventing you from working or studying, stealing from you. Financial abuse is another form of domestic violence.
- Bullying and intimidation: purposely and repeatedly saying or doing things that are intended to hurt you.
Hurtful and hurting behavior comes from a variety of sources
All too often domestic violence accompanies substance or alcohol use. It can also develop in relationships when one partner has a narcissistic personality disorder. It can arise from a loved one’s childhood traumatic experiences that are acted out against others in adulthood.
Abusers focus on power and control regarding their victims. The Power and Control Wheel offers an excellent explanation of male violence upon women (and can be adapted for other relationships). read more