Psychological Abuse

The Different forms Domestic Violence can take

Domestic violence or abuse – Psychological

Psychological domestic violence or abuse, also known as emotional or mental abuse, refers to a pattern of behaviour in which one partner uses tactics to control, manipulate, demean or undermine the other partner’s emotional well-being and sense of self-worth. Unlike physical abuse, psychological abuse primarily targets the victim’s thoughts, feelings and emotions. It can have severe and lasting effects on the victim’s mental and emotional health.

Examples of psychological domestic violence or abuse include:

Verbal Abuse: This involves using hurtful words, insults, yelling or name-calling to belittle and degrade the victim.

Isolation: The abuser might try to isolate the victim from friends, family and support systems, making them dependent on the abuser for emotional validation and companionship.

Gaslighting: Gaslighting involves manipulating the victim’s perception of reality, causing them to doubt their own thoughts, memories and experiences.

Manipulation and Control: The abuser may use tactics like guilt tripping, threats, or coercion to control the victim’s actions and decisions.

Constant Criticism: The abuser consistently criticises, ridicules or undermines the victim’s self-esteem and confidence.

Stonewalling: The abuser refuses to communicate, ignores the victim or gives them the silent treatment as a form of punishment or control.

Withholding Affection: The abuser may withhold affection, attention or emotional support, leaving the victim feeling unloved and isolated.

Intimidation and Threats: This involves using fear, intimidation or threats to maintain power and control over the victim.

Preventing psychological domestic violence or abuse:

Raise Awareness: Educate yourself and others about the signs and consequences of psychological abuse. Recognising the patterns is the first step toward prevention.

Healthy Relationships: Promote healthy relationship dynamics based on mutual respect, open communication and equality.

Support Systems: Encourage victims to maintain strong connections with friends, family and social networks. Having a support system can provide a buffer against isolation.

Empowerment and Self-Esteem: Build self-esteem and self-confidence in individuals, making them less susceptible to manipulation and control.

Early Intervention: If you suspect someone is being abused, offer support and resources. Encourage them to seek professional help, such as counselling or therapy.

Legal Measures: Advocate for strong legal protection against all forms of domestic abuse, including psychological abuse.

Educational Programmes: Implement educational programmes in schools and communities that promote healthy relationship skills and teach about the warning signs of abuse.

Seek Help: Abusers may benefit from therapy and counselling to address underlying issues that contribute to their abusive behaviour.

Remember that preventing psychological domestic violence requires a collective effort from individuals, communities, and institutions. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, it’s crucial to seek help from therapists or contact our confidential help line for immediate personalised assistance and support for guidance tailored to your specific situation.

Don’t suffer alone – Contact our specially trained team who are committed to helping you every step of the way.