Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse is a form of abusive behavior involving the use of language. Verbal abuse is different from profanity in that it can occur without profanity. In some countries, charges can be laid for verbal abuse under certain circumstances. Verbal abuse leaves no outer mark and no proof.

I think sometimes, it does leave a mark. It makes the abuse person look like they're recovering from intense illness all the time. Some are not as good an actor and they show that they don't have self-esteem anymore. They look like all the light and life are gone out of them. I've seen this twice, and they both manifest the same that way.

The problem with tailoring likes and dislikes in the quest to make the abuser happy is that it can backfire. The abuser will then accused the victim of having no original thought, and therefore make the abuser feel very righteous with their abuses.

Characteristics of Verbal Abuse

1. Verbal abuse is hurtful and usually attacks the nature and abilities of the partner. Over time, the partner may begin to believe that there is something wrong with her or her abilities.

2. Verbal abuse may be overt (through angry outbursts and name- calling) or covert (involving very subtle comments, even something that approaches brainwashing). Overt verbal abuse is usually blaming and accusatory, and consequently confusing to the partner. Covert verbal abuse, which is hidden aggression, is even more confusing to the partner.

3. Verbal abuse is manipulative and controlling. Even disparaging comments may be voiced in an extremely sincere and concerned way. But the goal is to control and manipulate.

4. Verbal abuse is insidious. The partner's self-esteem gradually diminishes, usually without her realizing it.

5. Verbal abuse is unpredictable. In fact, unpredictability is one of the most significant characteristics of verbal abuse. The partner is stunned, shocked, and thrown off balance by her mate's sarcasm, angry jab, put-down, or hurtful comment.

6. Verbal abuse is not a side issue. It is the issue in the relationship. When a couple is having an argument about a real issue, the issue can be resolved. In a verbally abusive relationship, there is no specific conflict. The issue is the abuse, and this issue is not resolved. There is no closure.

7. Verbal abuse expresses a double message. There is incongruence between the way the abuser speaks and his real feelings. May sound very sincere and honest while telling his partner what is wrong with her.

8. Verbal abuse usually escalates, increasing in intensity, frequency, and variety. The verbal abuse may begin with put-downs disguised as jokes. Later other forms might surface.

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