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.