What is Verbal Abuse?

What is verbal abuse? A control technique used to coerce you to do & say what the abuser wants you to do and say. Verbal abuse systematically erases you.Mental, emotional and verbal abuse are types of domestic violence. What is verbal abuse? Verbal abuse is offensive language and behaviors designed to humiliate and gain power over another person.

Abusers communicate verbal abuse through threatening behavior and words. Our minds are powerful interpreters of body language, and the slightest movement can convey a threat or secret message to the abuser’s victim. It’s not important what bystanders hear or see, it’s how the victim interprets the words and actions conveyed by their abuser that matter.

What is verbal abuse? Another answer is verbal abuse is a complicated and sometimes secret language and behavior set that an abuser uses to control the victim. Verbal abuse is also a control tactic that will eventually lead to physical violence in intimate relationships.

Why is verbal abuse important for everyone to understand? We must all understand what verbal abuse is so we can recognize it if someone uses it against us and then react properly to it (See Verbal Abuse and How to Identify It – each page gives suggestions on how to react to each type of verbal abuse). If you cannot recognize verbal abuse, you are likely to be easily manipulated by the person using it (partner, co-worker, etc.).

My ex-husband used verbal abuse to manipulate me almost every day of our 17 year marriage. Before I knew my ex-husband used verbal abuse to control me, I believed many of the things he said about and to me. I believed him. I also confused myself by trying to figure out where I went wrong instead of recognizing that he was wrong.

I’ve realized that part of the reason I didn’t know he abused me was because I didn’t have the vocabulary to describe what was happening to me. Being able to name my abuser’s verbal abuse tactics was my first step to freedom.

So, What is Verbal Abuse Again?

  • Verbal abuse is offensive language and behaviors designed to humiliate and gain power over another person.
  • Verbal abuse is a complicated and sometimes secret language and behavior set that an abuser uses to control the victim.
  • Verbal abuse is a control technique that leads to physical violence

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Comments

  1. I stumbled across your websites last night after going looking for some positive slogan or poster on Pinterest to counter a barrage from my husband. I’ve since spent hours pouring over your pages. I’ve thought for a long time that certain incidents were abusive but have not been ready to actually describe our relationship as one of verbal abuse. Now, all the pieces fit. Your descriptions of the types of verbal abuse describe us very accurately, particularly Accusing and Blaming, Blocking and Diverting, Countering, Denial, Deprivation and Withholding, Discounting, Trivialising and Undermining. Even the woodchipper- only it was an enormous industrial scale chipper he had access to and “I’d never be found”.
    My husband is very careful; he’s never touched me in anger and he only rarely even uses bad language when he rants. If there are degrees of abuse, I know it could be a lot worse and he would scorn to think of himself as an abuser at all. But he is and I’ve been coming to the realisation for a long time now. The first signs were early on in our marriage, when we were still ‘happy’ but slowly he was putting immutable ‘rules’ into place to control my interactions with him.
    I’ve already taken some protective measures but there’s more I can do, especially to detach more emotionally and that’s what I’ll be focussing on next. At the moment, I will be staying in the relationship. I do have clear lines in my mind; if they are crossed, I will leave but he knows what some of those are and is too clever.

  2. esewalter says:

    Your site and your podcasts have been very helpful and informative. Many many thanks for this.

  3. I have found out that my husband has been using a technique referred as gaslighting as well as verbal abuse all through it hurts very much I am learning what is really going on with our relationship.

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