Domestic violence in the form of verbal abuse

Verbal abuse as domestic violence (DV)

In this article, I will focus on verbal abuse as not just a precedent to domestic violence, just like what the literature on the subject says, but rather it is already a form of DV in itself because of the magnitude and the deep of the wound that it may cause to a person, their lost of self worth and confidence. When one is a victim of this kind of abuse, their dignity is hampered and it takes time before they can even recover if they can do it at all. Usually emotional pain takes longer time to heal. Verbal abuse is the worst form of torture without inflicting physical pain.

Definition of terms:

Domestic violence or Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a form of abusive behavior done by a partner in an intimate relationship. It could be in the form of physical aggression, sexual and emotional abuse, controlling or domineering; intimidation, stalking; passive/covert abuse ; and economic deprivation.

Verbal abuse consists primarily of deliberate insults, derogatory or embarassing remarks, sarcasm, put down words aim at a person as a form of coercion and intimidation. It is a form of domestic violence. It has been known that the consequences are far too harsh and takes more time to repair.

Verbal abuse as precedent to physical aggression

According to some studies regarding victims of domestic violence, almost ninety percent of them experienced verbal abuse prior to the commitment of more serious physical violence. Usually, verbal abuse is being neglected because there is no proof of it and it is not as visible as physical aggression. Verbal abuse is not yet classified as domestic violence because psychologists would say that it is just an activity prior to committing the act of physical aggression. But I beg to disagree because it has been known that those who are victims of verbal abuse are battered emotionally and it takes more time to heal than just being assaulted physically.

Consequences of verbal abuse

All your self worth are taken away from you and worst thing is that the victim usually justify the action of the perpetrator because they think that what the other partner is doing to them is a sign of love, just like what the perpetrator would do to make the victim believe in him. "I did that because I love you and I want you to improve on your behavior", is a classic dialogue of a pepetrator to the victim. Yes, but what kind of love is that?

Verbal abuse is a kind of violence that creates a deep emotional pain and mental anguish.

Prolonged exposure to verbal abuse crushed every inch of self confidence a person has.

So what constitutes verbal abuse? What are some common signs of verbal abuse?

The perpetrators of this kind of abuse usually called their partner by names. It is you who can acknowledge that it is wrong for example to call you some words which is not due to you. Sometimes a spouse may even embarrass you in front of other people, in front of your relative, friends that matters to you. At other times, the perpetrator use sarcasm and mocking words too. Screaming, yelling and raising the voice towards another is another form.

A case of verbal abuse

I have a friend before who don’t want to talk to me anymore and after one month of being silence, I have learnt that the reason she doesn’t want to talk to me is that she feels ashamed when her husband call her names in front of me. The man is a controlling man and want to impose himself on my friend. The man is obviously humiliating my friend in front of me, screaming or yelling at her at times. And all I could do was to go home. Finally, I decided to take a step and talked to my friend in an honest to goodness way. I told her that it is not her fault and theres nothing to be ashamed of. I told her to go and talk to a counselor because she has low self confidence and is always scared of what the husband might do to her if she cant accomplish her task. She always wanted to please the husband. It even came to a point where she trembles when her husband calls her. She doesn’t have a job and is totally dependent on her husband for money. He even tells her to shape up or else she will divorce her and get their son together and that no man will want her anyway because she is no good.The man is clearly using intimidation and coercion. These are obvious tactics of the man in order for the woman to stay put, and usually these types of man are insecure and they need to dominate so that they can prove to themselves that they are still the one in control.

The perpetrators of the abuse

Men are not the only one who is verbally abusive to their partner, women also do the same things to men as well. These kind of domination through verbal abuse is also dependent on every other culture. Dominance and hierarchy and economic advantage plays an important role in this kind of abuse.

When to take action

At the very start that you noticed that your partner is doing this to you, try to tell them that you are hurt of what they are doing and you are not going to tolerate it. They get away with it because sometimes, it has been going on for long and usually the victims are not doing anything to correct it. The best thing to do is to talk to them and tell them that you are not going to tolerate it and once you made it clear, be prepared to mean what you say. Talk to a friend or nearest relative about it and express yourself.

What to do if you know somebody who are victims

It is very difficult at times also to meddle with affairs like this because sometimes women feels that they are lacking in some areas that is why their husband is justified in abusing them or the other way around. And sometimes we ask ourselves, when do we draw the line when it is your friend or close relative who is affected already. My advice is that we should always do the right thing, to report any form of domestic violence to the police and to stand as witness. Yes, it takes a lot of courage but then, if nobody will do it, who else is there to do it. The consequences are too harsh to ignore.

So if you are a victim of verbal abuse, be sure to act on it immediately specially if you have children because they are the first one to be affected and the manifestations and consequences have long term effect to them and to you as well. Nobody deserves to be treated like trash and everybody deserves respect. Men and woman should have equal footing in a relationship.

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Comments 18 comments

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

I hope that your friend was able to resolve her situation, Pretty. Many times, the victims don't know that they are victims, as in many bad situations, people have an innate ability to adapt to their situations and so learn to accept it as being natural or normal. Thank you so much for writing this one.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US Author

hi Dohn, yes my friend is alright now, they finally ended up in divorce and she is still in the process of healing. Yes, at first she thinks it is normal but then she is also battered up and she fibnally find her way,,,thans for dropping by Dohn.

Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 7 years ago from The East Coast

The divorce was the best thing that happened to her, but I'm sorry that she had to go through something like that.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US Author

hi flightkeeper, yes, at least she woke up and did the right thing...

julie ashton profile image

julie ashton 7 years ago

You are absolutley right in that verbal abuse is in many ways worse than physical abuse as it is insidious and leaves no visible scars. It leaves victims wondering what is happening and if it is really their fault, until the life and soul is crushed out of them. Whereas if you get beaten up it is pretty clear it is abuse and you are more prompted to leave the relationship sooner.

I want to educate girls and young women into recognising verbal abuse sooner and not getting into relationships with abusive partners.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US Author

thanks julie, thats a great effort on your part, we do hope that as early as it is or as young as they are,they get to be educated about this abuse. thanks for dropping by! Maita

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California

I agree that verbal abuse is just as or in some cases more damaging than physical abuse. Also I'm happy to see that your friend is better now, or rather getting better. Very good hub.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US Author

thank you fastfretta for reading this one, appreciated and yes verbal abuse is considered domestic violence, it is sometimes worst than physical beatings, Maita

CarolanRoss profile image

CarolanRoss 6 years ago from Midwest USA

Excellent discussion about a critical subject that often gets ignored by our culture. I'm encouraged to find those who understand the seriousness of this type of insidious abuse. Bless you for supporting your friend and for building this web page.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US Author

Thanks Carolan, Maita

profile image

sweaver 6 years ago

Abruse is abruse no matter how you look at it, but you then have to ask yourself is it worth stayying with the person that's doing this to you. I sufferdthis form of abruse as well, it started when I was younger from the people that GOD set forth to protect me.Yes, my parents, so of course I grew up thinking the worst of myself and ashamed.So, when I got older every relationship I was in ended up in me being abrused and alone with no one. But, i overcamed this my looking myself in the mirror everyday of my life and telling myself things that were totally different then what I grew up listening too and what men as told me threw out my years. There comes a time when you have to agree that enough is enough and R.Kelly said it better: When a womans fed up, there's nothing you can do about it.You grow and you find your own way to leave and make yourself better.

IreneMarieW profile image

IreneMarieW 5 years ago

Thank you for writing this. Verbal abuse is extremely painful to deal with and difficult to heal from. I still struggle with ignoring the voices that were planted in my head by men who never loved me. I am happy your friend is out of that situation. Voted up.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 5 years ago from US Author

Hi IreneMarieW, always love yourself first. In the first instance of verbal abuse in a relationship, talk to the person, if it is not stopping, you have to move on.

Thank you for visiting this hub.

KDee411 profile image

KDee411 5 years ago from Bay Area, California

Hello Maita, Nice to meet you, Good Hub, I just started one and its all about the Power Over People your refering to. Messed up my family pretty bad. I was married to one(PO)for almost 38 years. I'll add to my hub tomarow if I can find out how to add a video. I'll watch for more, your a good writer. Kay

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 5 years ago from US Author

Thanks Kay and I am glad about "The Power Over People". I'll check that one tom. Are you ok now? Take care.

KDee411 profile image

KDee411 5 years ago from Bay Area, California

Malta I just had to look you up again. Your right not enough said about those Power Over people. It runs in families for sure. I finally got my verbal abuse one in, and my poem relates.

It's uninteresting subject. Good to meet you keep upyhe good work.


KDee411 profile image

KDee411 5 years ago from Bay Area, California

Malta I just had to look you up again. Your right not enough said about those Power Over people. It runs in families for sure. I finally got my verbal abuse one in, and my poem relates.

It's uninteresting subject. Good to meet you keep upyhe good work.

Yes thank you, I'm great. Had a lot of cliff hangers but I'm a strong old gal.


Guest 4 years ago

I just got out of this, and I have to say, I'd rather be hit by a person, than hit harder with Ugly words, and unkind ways of making me feel like the Dumbest person on earth and they did. I'm glad that it's over and it's only been a few weeks but it's like a huge lift off my shoulders is gone, for I had finally decided to take my own life, if it had kept going. I'm glad it's not. Thankfully..Thank you for this Subject, this is so fitting for what I just got out of.

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