When most people think of
domestic violence, they often imagine a scenario where the abusive person physically harms
another. However, physical abuse is only considered as one form of domestic violence.
Emotional abuse is a common form of domestic violence, involving the destruction
of the victim’s self-worth that is brought about by persistent criticism,
insults, and humiliation. Behavior which controls what you think, whom
you talk with, or where to go is deemed abusive.
The following are the common tactics used by an emotional abuser:
- Isolate a spouse or partner from family and friends
- Discourage independent activities such as work, school, or activities with friends
- Criticize a spouse’s or partner’s weight, appearance, and the
way they dress
- Accuse a spouse or partner of being unfaithful if he or she speaks to a
member of the opposite sex
- Make all major decisions and control all finances without any input from
the abused spouse or partner
- Threats, harassment, punishment, and intimidation by the abuser, if the
spouse or partner does not give into the control
- Use the children to gain leverage by undermining the other parent’s
authority or threatening to leave and take the children
Those who use emotional abuse to control others use tactics similar to
what prison guards often use on prisoners of war. Prison guards know that
physical control has its limits, so they use certain tactics which manipulate
the emotions of prisoners to get them to cooperate.
People who respect and honor themselves won’t allow someone to abuse
them, while those who allow such abuse continue to do so because they
fear confrontations. The abused typically feel guilty and blame themselves,
which is why many of these incidents go unreported.
The following are effective steps that a person can take to cope with emotional abuse:
- Confront the abuser and let him or her know that his or her behavior is
unacceptable and you will not tolerate being verbally knocked down, treated
poorly, or humiliated any longer.
- If the victim understands that confront the abuser can lead to violence,
seek professional help from a counselor, therapist, or support group for
- Consider couples counseling to learn new ways to deal with one another.
- Avoid “bad coping mechanisms,” such as turning to alcohol or
drugs, developing an eating disorder, or hurting oneself.
If you are a victim domestic violence in the form of emotional abuse, I,
Jeffrey S. Graff, is committing to ensure that you are protecting from harm. I have a thorough
understanding of California family law to seek legal protection against
Contact my firm for more information today.