The Abuse We Do'nt Talk About
Emotional abuse which is defined as the use of emotions to control another person in order to criticize, embarrass, shame, blame, or manipulate them (verywell mind.com) is one of the least talked about types of abuse that occur in our society.
Emotional abuse is frequently very subtle, making it very difficult to detect its signs. Most victims might convince themselves that they are either overreacting or misinterpreting someone's words or actions before admitting or realizing that what they are experiencing is simply emotional abuse. You might be shocked to learn how many people have been subjected to this type of abuse without even realizing it.
Emotional abuse can happen in any relationship, including between friends, among coworkers, family members, and spouses. Like any other form of abuse, it has many negative effects on an individual's self-esteem, often making victims doubt their perceptions and reality, second guess themselves, and much more.
“Even though emotional abuse may not hurt your body; it can be just as painful and distressing as physical abuse”
Emotional abuse is difficult to deal with because, unlike physical abuse, there is no tangible evidence to present. Victims may believe it is absurd to seek assistance from the police or any other party. One might be hesitant to report their spouse, friend, or boss for publicly humiliating them, questioning their memory of events, invalidating them, blaming, guilt tripping, or controlling them.
Emotional abuse is particularly difficult to deal with in this regard because we live in a world where people will not believe or help you unless you offer proof. We live in a world where victims are tasked with proving to the world that they are, in fact, victims. In the end, victims only have themselves to rely on.
There really aren't any set of rules which a person must follow to avoid being a victim, because like all forms of abuse, it is never the victim's fault. All one can do is lean to trust their gut instinct and how their body reacts to certain behaviors that appear harmless but are in fact harmful. Recognizing and understanding how certain words or actions of others affect you emotionally; and accepting and come to terms with the fact that it is never your fault that you were or are emotionally abused.
There is much that we must do as a society, the first of which is to recognize emotional abuse as any other form of abuse. Victims should feel safe knowing that they can report all forms of emotional abuse and that they can talk to someone who will listen without dismissing or mocking them. Emotional abuse is abuse!