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Do you know the signs of emotional abuse?

When you think about domestic violence, you may picture physical abuse. However, domestic violence can take many forms. One kind of abuse that you may experience is emotional abuse.

Emotional abuse occurs when people say or do things to make you doubt yourself and your self-worth. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, emotional abuse can often be subtle. You may not initially realize that your partner is abusive until you look at the broader pattern of behavior. There are a few signs that indicate you may be experiencing emotional abuse.

Controlling behavior

An abusive partner may try to monitor everything that you do. He or she may insist on looking through your phone on a regular basis to see who you have contacted. This person may also try to keep you from seeing some friends and family members. In some situations, your partner may make you ask permission to go places or dictate what type of clothes you can wear.

Demeaning language

In some situations, your partner may say hurtful things to you. This person may routinely tell embarrassing or humiliating stories about you and ignore you when you ask him or her to stop. Your partner may call you names or make you question your own judgment. When you speak to your partner, he or she may dismiss your concerns and say that you are taking everything too seriously.


Emotional abuse can also take the form of threats. Your partner may say that he or she will harm you or continually threaten to end the relationship. Additionally, this person may threaten to perform self-harming behaviors if you do something that he or she does not approve of.

Emotional abuse can cause lasting psychological harm and in some cases, it may lead to other types of abuse. If you suspect that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, you may want to consider your options, such as filing a protective injunction.


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