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Verbal Abuse

source: Pat Stubbs

The consequences of emotional and verbal abuse can be as damaging as physical abuse, though much harder to recognize, and therefore more difficult to recover from. Emotional and verbal abuse may cause long term self esteem issues. Listed below are some examples of emotional and verbal abuse:

  • When a person is threatened, intimidated, humiliated, yelled at, or blamed, and made to feel inferior or stupid;
  • Constant emotional or verbal assaults that make someone feel sad, worthless and/or unwanted;
  • Name calling, making them feel crazy, playing mind games, and blame shifting;
  • Using words and feelings to strike out, embarrass, shame, insult or reject;
  • May include excessive, aggressive or unreasonable demands that are beyond a persons capacity;
  • Constant criticizing, belittling, insulting, and rejecting are all examples of emotional and verbal abuse.

Emotional and verbal abuse may happen for months and years before any damage is evident. By the time the injury is noticed, the person may already be having significant difficulty coping with life. Emotional and verbal abuse ultimately affects a persons development and sense of self-worth.

As children we are taught, “sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you” in a sing song rhyme. That rhyme could not be further from the truth. The principle behind the message was to teach children physical violence shouldn’t be used when someone calls you a name. The deeper message though teaches children to tolerate verbal abuse. By the time survivors become adults, the message to accept and tolerate verbal abuse is ingrained almost into our souls. Many times survivors themself can not even recognize it.


Disclaimer:   I am not a health care professional. I am an abuse survivor. The resources on this site are for information and education only. Information on this website is meant to support not replace the advice of a licensed health care or mental health care professional. Please consult your own physician for health care advice.

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