It can be difficult to identify abuse, especially when you’re the target. It can be even more difficult to identify it when there are no physical scars and bruises. Sometimes victims question themselves, on whether the abuse is really happening. Christine Hammond, who is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, explains verbal abuse in more detail in an article published on Psych Central.
- Contradicting tone of voice and behaviour
This includes extreme outbursts of rage and yelling, which is often preceded by a calmer tone of voice and expression before the outburst, leaving the victim feeling confused, not knowing what to expect and when, and thus walking on eggshells. Other extreme behaviour can include completely ignoring the victim, not answering their questions or complete silence.
- Attacking the person’s character
It can include name-calling, defaming and intense criticism of who the person is. This would include identifying an area of the person’s personality which is true and then criticising that part of their personality, leaving the victim feeling confused, feeling that the abuser is right and that there is truth to their criticism.
- Never apologising
The abuser would never apologise, which means never acknowledging the abuse or accepting responsibility. It can include denying they ever said anything or denying that they ever promised or committed to anything.
- Blaming the victim
The victim is blamed for the abuser’s bad behaviour, saying that they would not have acted that way if the victim did not hurt or offend the abuser, thus the victim is always at fault.
For more information on verbal abuse, read the full article here.