Emotional Abuse precedes Physical Abuse 100% of the time.
Emotional Abuse is any behavior that does not affirm or nurture another’s unique sense of self. Rather, it engages intentional and purposeful action to diminish a person’s identity and personal power. This is done through the following:
- Verbal Attacks
- Name Calling
- Angry Outbursts
- Guilt Trips
- Neglect for others feelings
- Mind Games
Emotional Abuse as listed can be acted out in many forms. Each of these examples of Emotional Abuse fall into one of two categories, Overt Emotional Abuse and Covert Emotional Abuse. Marti Tamm Loring in her book, Stories from the Heart:Case Studies of Emotional Abuse describes Overt Emotional Abuse and Covert Emotional Abuse in the following way.
Overt Emotional Abuse
Abuse that occurs that is overt and clear. One partner puts down the other with names such as stupid, inadequate or crazy or there is an open threat of harm.
Covert Emotional Abuse
Abuse that is subtle, covert and hard to detect on the surface. For example, a boyfriend constantly interrupts his girlfriend, making her feel as though her thoughts, ideas and feelings are not important. He constantly questions her abilities, until she begins to question them too. He excludes her from things that are going on within his own life over a period of time and makes her feel isolated.