Verbal abuse, also known as verbal bullying, is when someone uses words and body language to inappropriately criticize another. Although it is the most common type of abuse, it can sometimes be brushed off as this type of abuse doesn’t portray any visible proof. Often, in couple relationships, the verbal abuser responds to their partners’ independent views, thoughts, desires, feelings, and sometimes even happiness, as an irritant or personal attack. Some people believe that the abuser has low self-esteem and in turn, puts the victim in the same position, but it is unusual in couple relationships. In some cases, the abuser may belittle the victim because they have qualities that the abuser disparages i.e. emotional intelligence, receptivity, etc.
Verbal abuse can include the following:
- Accusations (threatening to tell police you did something you didn’t actually do; scare tactic)
- Blame/blame shifting (i.e. blaming you as the reason of your own abuse)
- Blocking and diverting (Refusing to participate in a conversation and changing the subject in order to gain/keep control;An abuser practicing this form of abuse may tell the victim that she is talking out of turn or is complaining too much) Method of gaslihgting.
- Gaslighting (Psychological manipulation to make victim question their own sanity; Plant seeds of doubt, typically of the abuse whether it be verbal, physical, sexual, etc, in one’s mind) A gaslighting abuser sometimes accuses the victim of doing something wrong to justify the abuse, or to make the victim think that the abuse is ‘making them even’ after said wrong doing.
- Trivializing (To make a situation seem less complex or significant)
- Denial of abuse and/or anger
- Criticizing, name calling
- Undermining (behavior intended to hinder over time and not allowing a person to establish or maintain positive interpersonal relationships)
Verbal abuse can also be a component in bullying, alongside physical abuse.
If you are stuck in an abusive situation, I highly recommend https://www.safehorizon.org/get-informed/domestic-violence-statistics-facts/?utm_campaign=National&utm_source=ppc&utm_term=Domestic%20Violence&gclid=CjwKEAjwm7jKBRDE2_H_t8DVxzISJACwS9WbYPGB6sQxBDMGSJB8wEoe_OYfoZFSmBMAA_zR5If1VRoCZ2zw_wcB#definition/. This website gives definitions of the different types of abuse, facts and stats, and displays their hotlines, counseling center, DV shelters, their project SAFE in which a trained advocate will address your safety concerns and even have a locksmith change your locks so you can feel safe in your own home. They also have an EXIT SITE QUICKLY button on the right side of the screen that jumps to Weather.com, causes the pages visited on the Safe Horizon website to be lost in your internet history, and then redirects you to Google when finished. (The previous sentence from the website is almost verbatim; https://www.safehorizon.org/tech-and-cyber-safety/)