Verbal Abuse : Another form of violence

by - Saturday, January 24, 2015

Verbally abused woman.

Dr Michael Obsatz in his book, ‘raising non violent children in a violent world’ defines violence as actions or words which are intended to hurt people. So, we can invariably say that even our use of words with people can hurt them. This type of violence is best called verbal abuse. ‘Verbal abuse also known as reviling is described as a negative defining statement told to the person or about any person or by withholding any response thus defining the target as non-existent. If the abuser doesn’t immediately apologize and retract the defining statement, the relationship may be a verbally abusive one’, the verbally abusive relationship by Patricia Evans.

It comprises ridicule, shaming, name calling, teasing. Well, I had a pretty good share of this emotion drainer while I was growing up. Experiences of such abuse type cannot be fully understood by people who have never been under such conditions and situations. It is such an unnoticeable form of abuse that even its effects are underestimated: fear, uncertainty, low self esteem, reduced self worth to mention a few. It weakens the emotions of the victim in question. Since the target of verbal abuse is often blamed, ignored, or yelled at, s/he may have difficulty recognizing what is going on in the relationship. If verbal abuse lingers for a very long period of time, it can destroy a person’s make up. His values change and gradually over time frustration can set in when he discovers that the gap between the real and ideal is widened. Such realization of naivety can result in the loss of power to live to the fullest.

But before this progressive destruction sets in, let’s look at practical ways in which a person under such abusive influence can survive it:

Try not to allow such words to get to you.

Get away from the abusive environment if you can

Look for a permanent way to stop its re occurrence

Reassure/ remind yourself of how special you are

Look for channels to let it out, see a counselor or speak to a trusted friend

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