Sunday, July 30, 2023

Is Emotional Abuse Domestic Violence?


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People often think that emotional abuse and domestic violence are the same thing, but they are not. Emotional abuse is a form of abuse that hurts a person's feelings and mental health, while domestic violence is a trend of abusive behaviour in a close relationship. In this piece, we'll talk about the similarities and differences between emotional abuse and domestic violence.


We'll look at real-life examples and talk about how they affect the people who are abused.


Emotional Abuse: Sorting Out The Hurt


Emotional abuse is a form of abuse in which a person's self-worth and emotional state are hurt by being manipulated, put down, or ignored. It can happen in many places, not just between close people. 

People can be hurt by emotional abuse in their homes, workplaces, or friendships, which can cause psychological damage and trauma. An example of emotional abuse at work would be a boss who constantly criticises an employee's work and says hurtful things about it.


Domestic Violence: More Than Just The Body


On the other hand, domestic violence refers to a wider range of violent actions that happen in close relationships. It can take many forms, including physical violence, mental abuse, sexual assault, control over money, and more. Most of the time, domestic violence causes an imbalance of power that makes the victim feel trapped and helpless. For example, a partner who controls their partner's money, keeps them away from friends and family, and talks badly about them is committing domestic violence.


Possible Signs Of Domestic Abuse

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Recognising the signs of domestic violence is important for helping victims and stopping the abuse. Here are some of the most usual signs of violence in the home:


1. Physical injuries: Bruises, cuts, or broken bones that happen often and can't be explained may be signs of physical abuse.

Domestic abuse victims may show signs of emotional withdrawal, fear, anxiety, or depression. They could lose touch with their friends and family.

3. Constant Fear: Victims may seem too afraid or worried, especially when they are around their partner or family member who is the attacker.

4. Controlling Behaviour: Abusive partners often try to control every part of their partner's life, including their income, their relationships with other people, and the things they do every day.

5. Constant Criticism: Verbal abuse, insults, and putting down comments are common types of emotional abuse in domestic violence.

6. Jealousy and possessiveness: An abuser may be very jealous and possessive, watching what the target does and keeping them away from other people.

7. Explosive Temper: Abusers may show anger or rage often and very strongly.

8. Putting the blame on the victim: Abusers often try to make the victim feel like they are to blame for the abuse.

9. Threats and intimidation: Abusers may tell their victims that they, their children, or other people close to them will get hurt if they speak up or leave a violent relationship.

10. Sexual Coercion: Sexual abuse can be a part of domestic violence, like when someone does something sexual without the other person's permission or when they force someone to do something sexual.

11. Gaslighting: Abusers can change how their victims see the world, making them question their own memories, thoughts, or health.

12. Financial Control: Another form of abuse is making it hard for the target to get money and other financial resources.


The Overlapping Paths


Even though mental abuse and domestic violence are two different things, they can happen together in close relationships. Emotional abuse is a big part of domestic violence, and it can happen along with physical violence or other types of abuse. Emotional abuse is often the first step towards more serious types of domestic violence.

Think about a situation in which one partner mentally abuses the other by constantly putting them down, making them question their own worth, and threatening to hurt them. This emotional abuse can lead to physical violence, making the connection more dangerous and harmful.


Where Can You Find Emotional Abuse?


Emotional abuse can happen in many different places, not just at home. It can happen in the workplace, at school, among friends, and even online. For example, cyberbullying is a form of emotional abuse that happens on social media sites and hurts the mental health of the person who is being bullied.

Most mental abuse that is part of domestic violence happens at home, behind closed doors. Emotional abuse is often subtle and hard to see from the outside, so it's important to watch out for signs of it in close relationships. Here are some places where mental abuse is common:


1. Domestic Settings: Emotional abuse happens most often at home and in close relationships. It can happen between lovers, parents andchildren, or other members of the same family. Home is where people should feel safe and cared for, but for some people, it can be a place of mental harm.

2. At work: Bullying, harassment, or manipulation by coworkers, bosses, or even subordinates are all forms of emotional abuse that can happen at work. Constant criticism, public shame, "gaslighting," and putting down a person's confidence and ability are all examples.

3. Schools, colleges, and universities: Emotional abuse can happen in these places, and it's often called bullying. Students can get hurt emotionally by their friends or teachers, which can have a big effect on their self-esteem and how well they do in school.

4. Online Spaces: As social media and digital interactions have become more popular, emotional abuse has moved online as well. Cyberbullying, online harassment, and trolling are all ways that people can hurt each other emotionally in online places.

5. Friendships and social circles: Emotional abuse can also happen between friends or in social groups. Emotional abuse in social situations can look like toxic friendships or relationships in which one person constantly puts down, manipulates, or controls others.

6. Care Facilities: Carers or staff members who ignore, insult, or mistreat vulnerable people, like the old or those in care facilities, can hurt them emotionally.

7. In public: Emotional abuse doesn't just happen in private places. It can also happen in public places, such as during fights, road rage, or disagreements with strangers.

It's important to know that mental abuse can happen anywhere and isn't limited to a certain age group or income level. Creating a safe and healthy atmosphere for everyone means being able to spot emotional abuse and help people who are going through it. If you think someone is being emotionally abused, showing care, understanding, and helping them find the right help can make a big difference in how well they are doing.

How To Tell Emotional Abuse Or Domestic Violence In Your Relationship


It can be hard to spot emotional or domestic violence, especially when the violent behaviour is subtle or meant to trick you. Here are some signs that a relationship may be filled with mental or physical abuse:

1. Constant Criticism: The attacker criticises and demeans the victim all the time, which hurts the victim's self-esteem.

2. Controlling Behaviour: The abuser tries to control what the victim does, how much money they have, or how they connect with other people.

Gaslighting is when the abuser changes the way the target sees the world, making them question their memory and sanity.

4. Isolation: The attacker cuts the victim off from friends, family, and other sources of help. This makes the victim feel helpless and alone.

5.Threats and intimidation: The abuser uses threats or other ways to make the victim afraid.


How To Get Help For Emotional And Domestic Abuse


If you or someone you know is being abused emotionally or physically in the home, you need to get help and support. Talk to a friend, family member, or counsellor you can trust about what's going on. There are also groups and hotlines set up to help people who have been abused.

If you are in immediate danger, don't be afraid to call the police or emergency services. Keep in mind that no one deserves to be abused, and there are people who can help you get away from a violent situation and start to heal.




Even though mental abuse and domestic violence are two different things, they often happen together in close relationships, causing the victims serious harm and trauma. Understanding the signs and getting help are important steps to breaking the circle of abuse and making sure everyone is safe and healthy. Remember that you or someone you know can get help and support to get through this hard journey to healing and recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do people who are emotionally abused feel?


Emotional abuse can cause serious problems that last for a long time, such as low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and trouble making good relationships.


How can I help a family member or friend who is being emotionally abused?


Listen to them without judging them, be there for them, and tell them to get professional help or call a hotline for victims of domestic abuse.


Can being hurt emotionally lead to being hurt physically?


Sometimes, emotional abuse can lead to physical violence. To stop more damage from happening, it's important to act quickly.


Are there laws that protect people who have been physically or emotionally abused at home?


There are restraining orders and shelters in many countries to help people who are victims of domestic abuse.


Is couples therapy suggested for relationships that are mentally abusive?


In cases of emotional abuse, couples therapy is not advised because it could make the abuse worse and put the person at risk. It might be better to get counselling on an individual basis.


How can I safely leave a relationship that hurts me emotionally?


It can be hard to get out of a situation that is abusive. You can get help from shelters, hotlines, or a friend or family member you can trust.


Can children who see mental abuse be affected by it?


Yes, children who see emotional abuse may experience emotional and psychological stress that can hurt their growth and well-being.