I have been through a lot of abuse in the past years, and although the potential abusers may have denied and would most likely still vehemently deny the abuse, it was abuse just the same. Much of it was NOT physical abuse. However, verbal and emotional abuse is worse, in my opinion. The scars of physical abuse heal, but the scars of emotional abuse stay on a long time afterward.
Physical abuse includes hitting, slapping or throwing things. Anything that is a threat to another person’s safety and well being is considered physical abuse. Even so much as threatening one’s physical safety, or threatening physical harm is considered physical abuse. Once you’ve used physical abuse on a victim, all the abuser has to do is raise a hand or threaten in the least way to repeat the instance and that is enough to keep that victim in their clutches. Threatening physical abuse also constitutes emotional abuse.
Verbal abuse is calling people names, putting them down, using words to belittle the person. Anything that comes out of your mouth that is abusive to the victim or people involved is abusive. It can be a spouse doing the verbal tongue lashing or just someone on the street. It can be your coworkers who cause the problems. Verbal abuse spans a wider field than physical. It is more common. Many people use verbal abuse if they see someone different on the street. If they see a handicapped person they may use slurs toward that person. This is verbal abuse.
Emotional abuse is close to verbal abuse, it often comes out of the mouth, but it also encompasses more. Emotional abuse acts on the psyche. It belittles the victim, and puts them to the point where they don’t believe in themselves. The abuser in fact, wants the victim to believe the abuse. They want the victim to feel a lack of self esteem. They belittle, call names, tell the person by words and attitudes that they are no good. If you keep telling someone over and over that they are no good, they will start to believe it. Eventually, emotional abuse doesn’t have to come from the mouth. It can be a cold shoulder, a special look, or a roll of the eyes for instance. Emotional abuse is much more powerful than physical abuse at times!
Abuse is WRONG, no matter what form it comes in! If you know someone who is being abused, get them some help. Don’t abandon them because it is a very hard thing to pull away from. The abuser has a hold on the victim so that they fear punishment if they retaliate. So, just remember that the victim needs your help. I have had friends abandon me, in the past, because they thought I should have left the abusive relationship sooner than I did. It was my decision when I left, and not anyone else’s, yet I needed that support of my friends. Had I had that support, I may have left much sooner! One of the abuser’s tactics is to make the victim feel totally alone in every way. By abandoning your friend, you are only playing right into the fiend’s hands!
I have had friends on both sides of the proverbial fence. One of my best friends was involved with a man who was a physical abuser. I was good friends with both of them, and had an in depth talk with him about it. He told me in no uncertain terms that he loved her dearly, and never meant to hurt her, ever. She just “did things to spur him on”. I tried to give him suggestions on how to avoid confrontation, get out of the house, avoid argument, get professional help. It is an emotional upheaval when the couple are both your good friends! I cannot and will not condone violence, however and I told him so in no uncertain terms. Although he never got help, I washed my hands of the problem, and suggested to her that she leave him and get as far away from him as possible. It was the only solution at that point, as he was not going to ever change. Sadly, most abusers never realize they have a problem and seek the help they need.
If you are a victim, get help! There are places to go, free clinics to help you break the cycle of abuse. Don’t stay in the situation, because it will only worsen with time. Abusers will make threats of all kinds, and use your family and every other kind of threat to keep you under their thumb and at home. Don’t let them do it! If you are a victim, get help! If you have been physically abused, don’t hesitate to file a police report. You can get police protection, and you DO have that right!
If you are the abuser, there is no excuse for you. You also need to seek help. Quit denying it, and quit trying to lay the blame on the victim. It is NOT their fault (a very common excuse for abuse)! Get help before it’s too late and you end up in jail. It is inevitable that will happen, if it keeps up. You have a problem, admit it and move on.