“But you’re such a beautiful family!” My friend said with a bit of desperation, in response to my explanation of separation.
“We may have nice photos on social media, but it’s not a beautiful picture on the inside,” I replied.
He didn’t have to hit me to make me feel like I was dying.
Many women feel that unless the behavior they experience from an abusive partner is criminal, they are obligated to endure it. This is wrong, however. Everyone deserves to live in safety.
Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death.”
Signs of emotional violence
Just because emotional violence is often not criminally acknowledged, it is not less harmful. As described by Stark (2007), emotional violence often demonstrates a pattern of on-going intentional domineering tactics used with the intent of overpowering the victim’s thoughts, beliefs/conduct, or punishing them for resisting their abuse of power. Emotional violence is a pattern of controlling behaviors used to exercise power and control.
Several studies report that the effects of emotional violence are comparable to or even outweigh the effects of physical violence.
- Emotional abuse: victim-blaming, dismantling
the victim’s self-esteem and self-worth
- Verbal abuse: swearing, humiliation, and degradation
- Social abuse: ongoing social isolation
- Spiritual abuse: misusing religious/spiritual beliefs to justify abuse
- These behaviors are often reported to occur along with physical violence (Lawrence et al. 2009).
Psalm 10:17-18 “O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.”