What is Verbal Abuse


Verbal Abuse is a form of violence that involves the use of words rather than blows and punches.
These words are used to harass, hurt, and control, another person by inflicting physiological violence on them. This type of abuse attacks the very nature of a person’s being, attempting to destroy his or her spirit.

Some behaviors that are considered verbally abusive are listed below:

1. Angry outbursts
2. Screaming rages
3. Name-calling
4. Blaming
5. Brainwashing
6. Intimidation
7. Hidden aggression
8. Manipulative (Often disguise as caring moments)
a. Can be overt or covert (but is always about controlling and manipulating the victim).
b. Often disguised as jokes (the target of the joke is to insult or hurt then laughs it off saying the victim is overly sensitive.
9. Over time verbal abuse often escalates into physical abuse

In verbal abusive relationship arguments is different from those in a healthy relationship. In healthy relationship normally people argue over real issues that have the potential to be resolve, whereas in verbal abusive arguments real conflicts are not the issue and problems does not get resolved because in verbal abusive relationships the abuse becomes the issue and often the victim is told that everything is his or her fault.

Some tactics uses by verbal abusers are listed below:

1. Telling their victims what to think and how to feel
2. Typically refuse to see or understand the victim’s point of view.
3. Regularly reject in a violently verbal way to the victims opinions and desires.
4. Repeatedly deny reality and attempt to keep the victim confused by constantly changing or distorting the issue.
5. Often a major part of verbal abuse is withholding.
6. Frequently seek to isolate their partners in marital relationship, cutting off or block their relationship with family and friends.
a. Sometimes verbal abusers work to convince the victim that the abuser is the only ones who really care about or like them.
b. Sometimes verbal abusers admit to the behavior and promise to stop. Typically, however the behavior starts again in a short period of time.

Verbal abuse can be described as sneaky; it leaves wounds that are not visible to the naked eye. Verbal abuse harms the mind and spirit and can be difficult to recognize than physical abuse. Victim also become so torn down by it, that they often are unable to notice the abuse themselves. Low self-esteem is ever-present in the minds of the verbally abused therefore, abusers are often able to convince the abused that he or she is the problem and is playing the victim.

In conclusion, the verbal abused person becomes so torn down by the abuse that they are unable to put up a defense against it. They often try to change or pacify the abuser thinking it will improve the relationship. Unfortunately, verbal abusers do not change on their own professional psychiatric help is usually required for any real change to occur.


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