Verbal abuse from a partner is hardly ever accepted socially as domestic violence, in fact name calling sometimes even glides over in public as a ha-ha thing, with families and friends hoping that the ‘bad phase’ in the relationship will pass on.
“Erasing her consciousness…”
But this form of violence is anything but transitory.
Patricia Evans, a consultant on Verbal Abuse in DV situations, has interviewed more than 40,000 women who’ve been severely verbally abused by their partners. After talking to her and others a few months ago, Washington Post summarized it in their report:
The phrases and speech patterns used by their abusers — insults such as "lazy" and "stupid," statements ("That never happened" or "I never did that") meant to distort past events, and accusations that slowly isolate them from family and friends — were strikingly similar. As opposed to a bad-tempered partner or someone who occasionally says something cruel and then apologizes, verbal and emotional abusers engage in abuse over years and decades, convincing the victim she's at fault, finding ways to cut off her emotional or financial support, and slowly "erasing her consciousness," as Evans, an expert on domestic abuse, put it.
Domestic Violence can be hard to detect
Sometimes even counselors and hotlines don’t get it, because physical violence, the easy identifier of domestic abuse, is missing. And some abusers are smart. They know they can land up behind bars if they leave traces of abuse.
Psychologist Jeanne King, a specialist in DV, spoke to Washington Post “I've had people say, 'I don't hit my wife. I'm above that. I'm a CEO, I'm a physician, I'm an attorney; that's beneath me.' But they'll keep their partner in a room, block the door, prevent their partner from leaving. They're violating their rights without putting their hands on them."
The effects of this kind of non violent abuse are as devastating as any other.
Marriage counselor or DV specialist?
A marriage counselor is trained to try to make a marriage or relationship work. A Domestic Violence expert is trained to ensure the safety of the abused person. If not handled with extreme discretion, exposing the problems faced by the abused - to the abuser, can lead to in a spate of debilitating abuse in private.
If you, or anyone you know, is facing persistent abuse of this kind, acknowledge it and understand it. Refer to a helpline or person trained to handle Domestic Violence. We, at ASHA, are always there to listen and help.
Read the full report: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/lazy-stupid-that-never-happened-an-epidemic-of-verbal-abuse-against-women/2017/10/20/853c536e-a386-11e7-8cfe-d5b912fabc99_story.html?utm_term=.0aba9ce7ee34