When most people think of the touchy subject of domestic violence, they normally think only of physical violence. But, domestic violence is much more than that. It includes: physiological/emotional, physical, sexual, or economic violence. What I will be focusing on in this article is the emotional aspect of domestic violence.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.
First, let’s clarify what exactly emotional abuse is. As specified by Healthy Place, emotional abuse, is any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, or any other treatment that may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth. But, commonly, without the use of physical harm.
Second, let’s go over the signs. While there is an array of ways to indicate if you are experiencing emotional abuse, here are seven common signs to look out for:
- Your partner trying to isolate you from family or friends
- Your partner is monitoring who you call, where you go, and who you spend time with
- Your partner is refusing to trust you or acting jealous or possessive
- Your partner trapping you in a home or preventing you from leaving
- Your partner serially cheating on you and then blaming you for their behavior
- Your partner attempting to control your appearance: what you wear, how much/little make up you wear, hairstyles, etc.
- Your partner is threatening to hurt you, family, children, or pets
Third, if you or someone that you know is experiencing emotional or any form of abuse you can visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline, here. There is a tab for, help with friends and family, help for survivors, or a path to safety for those still in abusive relationships.
The path to safety includes a personal, realistic plan that includes ways to remain safe while in an abusive relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave. You can find more information on the safety plan, here.
Emotional abuse can make you question your sanity and if what is happening is really abuse even though, often times, it is not physical. I am here to assure you, that 1) you’re not crazy and 2) if you’re questioning if it is abuse, it more than likely is. If you have any doubts, questions, or concerns, La Salle has a free counseling center, open five days a week. You can schedule an appointment by calling, 215-951-1335.
Remember, you are not alone and you are not to blame.