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What is verbal abuse?

If you are like most people, when you think of domestic violence allegations, you may think of physical assault. However, domestic violence does not always have to include physical abuse. It can be solely verbal.

According to WebMD, emotional abuse utilizes words to intimidate, manipulate or maintain control over another person.

Emotional manipulation

Emotional manipulation includes any act where one person uses negative tactics to force a person to feel a certain way. For example, manipulative people blame others for their abusive behavior, and they may constantly argue or make accusations. They tend to use fear to try to control the situation.

Humiliation and intimidation

One of the most common forms of verbal abuse is humiliation and intimidation. If you face these allegations, the other person may say that you belittle, unfairly criticize, or constantly call him or her names. Intimidation includes threatening physical harm to your partner or others, slamming doors, punching objects or breaking things. Other forms of intimidation can include driving erratically or threatening to leave.

Gaslighting

Another type of manipulation is gaslighting. When you gaslight other people, you make them question their better judgment and their memory. If a person accuses you of gaslighting, they may say that you deny events that happened or that you pretend not to understand what they have to say. They may insist you contradict earlier statements or lie about what they said or did.

Verbal abuse can have serious consequences, much like physical abuse. When someone accuses you of such abuse, it paints you as a manipulator and an intimidator.

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