Day #1: What is Verbal Abuse?

What is Verbal Abuse?

Verbal abuse refers to the ability to control and subordinate another person, through the use of language, for either self-gratification or to impose one’s view or will on another or to gain an unfair advantage in resolving a dispute.[1]

While both parties may use inappropriate language throughout the relationship, verbal abuse has the distinction of one party typically causing distress and insecurities in their partner typically for the purpose of exploitation. In other words, the abuser does so to gain an advantage over the victim typically to his or her own desire.

Verbal abuse is unfortunately difficult to identify, as it does not leave evidence comparable to that of physical abuse, and is often less visible simply because the abuse may be overt or always take place in private. In public, the victim may act one way, while in private the abuser may become a completely different person. A master at verbal abuse can damage their partner’s self-esteem while, at the same time, appear to care deeply for that very same person.

The use of words to punish is a very covert attempt to control and regardless of how loving a partner may appear to be, verbal abuse is wrong and can be just has harmful as physical abuse. Verbal abuse usually attacks the nature and abilities of the partner. Over time, the partner may begin to believe that there is something wrong with her or her abilities. She may come to feel that she is the problem, rather than her partner and may become more insecure over time.


[1] The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Patricia Evans. Adams Media Corp 1992, 1996, 2010

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5 thoughts on “Day #1: What is Verbal Abuse?

  1. Hey DIVA, I don’t know whether you have read about the term ‘gaslighting’ it is the worst type of emotional abuse. I wish that I had read about it it a long time ago. if I had, then so much would have made sense to me. Google it 🙂

  2. Hi Nikki,
    I hadn’t heard of the term “gaslighting” but, generally speaking, I have known of this type of emotional abuse and how destructive it can be. This is why we here at DIVA believe verbal abuse must be brought to attention and addressed at all times. It can be so harmful to an individual, leaving them confused and deeply scarred.

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