Relationship Abuse

I am sharing these two articles: the first one, what is verbal abuse and now this one on relationship abuse because this needs to be brought to the forefront of North American consciousness–naming and defining verbally abusive relationships. There are many books and resources dealing with the devastating effect of this “secret form of control.” If you would like some resources please email us.
It has been said; “there is no single definition of relationship abuse.  Each intimate relationship is unique and each abusive intimate relationship is unique too.” 
However as you look back on your relationships, you will discover certain signs, clues and characteristics that will demonstrate clearly if the relationships are unhealthy or abusive.  Two of these signs are common to virtually all cases of relationship abuse.  

First, relationship abuse usually involves a pattern of abusive events.  Except in rare cases, a single incident usually does not constitute abuse.  Instead, there is typically a pattern of repeated destructive behavior that escalates over time.

 Second, abusive relationships involve the use of power and control.  The abuser’s goal is to ensure that he or she is in complete control of you and the relationship.  Their controlling tactics may be subtle and not easily recognized.  It may seem that their taking control of your time, friends, and daily activities was a sign of caring and wanting only the best for you.  As time went by, the control you once had over your life disappeared.  Gradually using a wide range of strategies, they were able to render you totally powerless and place themselves in complete control of the relationship.  Verbal abuse can be extremely painful and damaging and its effects long lasting.  It could be termed a “SILENT KILLER.” As with physical violence, verbal abuse can take many forms, but the goal is to change your self point of view.  Verbal abuse is designed to make you feel powerless.

One of its main focuses is to make you feel “worthless.”  Verbal abuse takes a tremendous emotional toll!  Here is a partial list of behaviors that are included in verbal abuse.

1. Yelling

7. Intimidating

13. Name-calling

2. Accusing

8. Humiliating

14. Belittling

3. Using sarcasm

9. Putting you down

15. Rejecting your opinion

4. Threatening

10. Ridiculing

16. Criticizing

5. Insulting

 11. Blaming

17. Mocking

6. Treating you with scorn

12. Disparaging your ideas

18. Trivializing your desires

 In the book Free Yourself From An Abusive Relationship Andrea Lissette, M.A. CDVC and Richard Kraus, Ph.D. the co-authors make the statement “We find abuse is like a thief in the night destroying, plundering and devastating its victims.  It causes damage, destruction, emotional and physical pain, severe loss and disfiguration, and leaves lasting scars.  Verbal abuse can creep into a relationship slowly as humiliating comments or devastating criticism:  “You’ll never understand this no matter how may times I explain it.”  “What are you doing this time, dummy?”  “You look ridiculous!”  Verbal abuse can be open and in- your-face or it can be subtle and devious.  Verbal abuse betrays love, ends trust and destroys life.” 

As common as verbal abuse is, many people are unsure whether they are being verbally abused.  Many do not know what to do even if they become aware that they are being verbally abused.  Abusers lie and manipulate their victims.  They blame the victims for the abuse and they deny their abusive acts.  Because of this and the danger involved, it is difficult for victims to confront the abuser in their relationships.  THE IMPORTANT KEY HERE IS THAT THE VICTIMS RECOGNIZE THAT THEY ARE SUFFERING FROM VERBAL ABUSE.

2 thoughts on “Relationship Abuse

  1. i really appreciate seeing people realize how horrible relationship abuse really is.. i have been in an emotionally abusive relationship for a year and still stuck in it. i feel there es no way out and hopeless. i am only 16 years old and feel as if i have aged twenty years in the last year. ive gotten into things ive never imagined doing and situations i would never be in before i met this boy. im in counseling now trying to get help and reading the book ” i am not your victim” if you have any suggestions please let me know. </3


  2. Hannah, I am so sorry that you are in an abusive relationship at such a young age. If I may ask, do you have the support of your parents, are you able to confide in them so that they can be there to help you as you get stronger and are able to walk away from this relationship. I ask this because you need a support network…your counselor is one of your supports but you need friends or family to walk through this with you too.

    Being abused, whether verbally or physically by another hurts us deeply and creates many challenges. Hannah, you don’t have to settle for merely being a survivor. You can become an overcomer!!

    You might feel worthless~but you are not….and you might feel that your situation is hopeless~but it isn’t.
    You are valuable to the creator of the universe, to your Heavenly Father….and a new life of freedom, peace, and joy awaits you. Facing the abuse, ending it, and healing from it is a huge journey that leaves behind hopelessness and embraces new life.

    Just like myself and countless other abuse survivors, you can walk with your head held high and walk in freedom with the help of Jesus Christ.This journey of healing is possible.

    Other books to read:

    A Way of Hope by Leslie J. Barner

    Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them by Paul Hegstrom

    Battered But Not Broken by Patricia Riddle Gaddis

    Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

    Codependent No More by Melody Beattie

    Healing the Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allendar

    Perfect Daughters by Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D.

    Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden

    Safe People by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

    The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.

    The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee

    Turning Fear to Hope by Holly Wagner Green

    Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft


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