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Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse involves the destruction of a survivor’s self-worth, and is brought about by persistent insult, humiliation, criticism, yelling, coercion, name calling or isolation. The aim of emotional abuse is to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence—leaving you feeling that there’s no way out of the relationship, or that without your abusive partner you have nothing.
Emotional abuse can also be referred to as psychological abuse, and specifically uses words and non-physical actions to cause distress or harm. Domestic abuse survivors can experience emotional abuse on its own or alongside other forms of abuse, such as physical abuse.

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Questions & Answers

Emotional abuse is a form of coercive and controlling behaviour, which has been a criminal offence since 2015. Those experiencing emotional abuse should contact a local domestic abuse support service to get advice on their situation and the support available to them.

Yes, emotional abuse is a form of domestic abuse and violence. It can have many short and long-term effects on an individual and can be just as harmful as physical abuse.

There are a variety of types of behaviour that could be classed as emotional abuse. These include:

  • Intimidation and threats
  • Criticism
  • Undermining
  • Being made to feel guilty
  • Economic abuse
  • Telling you what you can and can’t do

(Reference: https://www.relate.org.uk/get-help/emotional-abuse)

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