Understanding Emotional Abuse

We easily recognize abuse when we see bruises and lacerations, especially on women and children. But many women, children, and men suffer the agonizing–often minimized and ignored–effects of emotional abuse. Most people assume physical abuse is much more destructive than emotional abuse yet many abuse survivors say they would have preferred being beaten with fists than with the words of their abuser. Bruises heal but the scars from emotional abuse can last a lifetime.

According to authors at HelpGuide.org, “the aim of emotional abuse is to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence. If you’re the victim of emotional abuse, you may feel that there is no way out of the relationship, or that without your abusive partner you have nothing.

Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming. Isolation, intimidation, and controlling behavior also fall under emotional abuse. Additionally, abusers who use emotional or psychological abuse often throw in threats of physical violence or other repercussions if you don’t do what they want.

You may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse, since physical violence can send you to the hospital and leave you with scars. The scars of emotional abuse are very real, though, and they run deep. In fact, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse—sometimes even more so.”

We at PSG, take a strong stance against abuse in all forms. We do not tolerate any type of harassment or abuse in our workplace or in the workplaces of where we place candidates. And we certainly hope that no one is being abused in their homes or relationships. We encourage anyone that is experiencing abuse–physical, emotional, and/or sexual–to seek help. Resources are available, even free resources if you aren’t financially able to pay.

Visit helpguide.org for full information on domestic abuse and other mental health issues.