Physical abuse often leaves proof of the abuse on the victim’s body, but what about the abuse that leaves no marks? According to www.Stanford.edu “Relationship abuse is a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a former or current intimate partner.” Verbal abuse is both emotional and psychological; these injuries are just as damaging and just as painful as the bruises you can see. The biggest physically strongest man, the best fighter, the most independent women can be brought to his or her knees by someone they believe loves them. Just because they aren’t using their fists, doesn’t mean that you aren’t being attacked by their words, which can be harder to recover from.
Actions of an abuser
- Extreme jealousy, constantly questioning where you are and who you are with, gives the abuser the foothold to begin controlling behavior. Often he/she will get very angry when you don’t answer their phone calls immediately and then accuse you of being with/talking to someone else.
- Controlling who you see, where you go, who you hang out with, what you wear, calling “just to check in.” Controlling behavior can lead to isolation; isolation is ideal for an abuser and adds to the victim’s dependency upon him or her.
- Insists on making all relevant decisions in the relationship or belittles or puts down your ideas, dreams and aspirations.
- Physically abusive, the first time the abuser often claims it was an “accident” and often they will blame you, circumstances, stress, alcohol, substance (anything but themselves) for making them do it. Afterwards they can be extremely apologetic and swear it will never happen again.
- Threatening you with violence is as bad as actually doing it because it is meant to instill fear and fear will give him/her control.
- Verbal put downs, insults, humiliation are ways of lowering your self-esteem, and are forms of abuse.
Women who stay with their emotionally abusive partners often blame themselves for their partner’s behavior. The abuser will blame their partner, children involved in the relationship and almost everyone else before ever taking responsibility for his or her own actions. As a result of the constant verbal abuse the person being abused can develop low-self-esteem, depression, and feelings of helplessness which can result in him or her feeling trapped. It has been proven that the longer a person is involved in an abusive relationship, the more helpless they become and to feel it becomes less likely that he or she are to leave it.
Resources in Oakland, CA
Dependable Domestic Svc
10850 Macarthur Blvd # 203
Oakland, CA 94605 -5266
Narika – Women’s Refuge
Domestic Violence Organization
Bay Area Women Against Rape
470 27th Street, Oakland, CA 94612