Latest posts by Hessa AlEassa (@Hessa_AlEassa) (see all)
- Emotional Abuse Is Not Acceptable – #ThisIsAbuse (@dfwac) - January 3, 2018
- A Closer Look At Mental Illnesses - August 23, 2017
- Is Emotional Intelligence An Option? - June 14, 2017
Many families can be abused without knowing that they are. This article talks specifically about emotional abuse and its effect on the victim.
It was 3 a.m. when Latifa woke up from a nightmare that left her out of breath and in cold sweat. She carefully got out of her bed not to wake her husband and newborn baby. She rinsed her face with cold water to cool herself down.
“Did I really age? Are my dark circles that bad? But I only have a couple of white hairs, did my face wrinkle up as he says?” Latifa was questioning her youth at the age of thirty-eight in front of the mirror. “Maybe Majid is right; I am no longer that beautiful young lady that he had first met. I hope my nightmares of him leaving do not come true. I feel anxious all day long because of his harsh comments; I am ashamed of what I have turned into”.
In many neighborhoods around the world, there are families experiencing abuse silently and sometimes without even realizing that what they are going through is a form of abuse. This is because the abuser can be as close as a partner or even a parent. It is important to understand that an act of abuse occurs when an abuser uses violence in any of its forms including physical, financial, neglect, isolation, stalking, sexual abuse and emotional abuse. The main goal of the abuser is to have control and power over the victim. The act of abuse can occur once or as a pattern of behavior in a relationship.
All of the listed forms of abuse have damaging effects on victims. However, according to psychologists, the most destructive form of abuse is thought to be the emotional abuse. Emotional abuse occurs when the abuser threatens violence or abandonment, humiliates, yells, calls names, mocks and criticizes the victim.
This type of abuse doesn’t leave a bruise or a cut on the body of the victim. However, it leaves a very deep emotional scar that can stay for years. Many victims who suffered from emotional abuse report short and long-term effects including low-self esteem and self-worth, feeling of shame, guilt, depression, anxiety and sleep disturbance. The effects of emotional abuse when not treated can stay for a lifetime with the victim, and it may manifest into other psychological disorders such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
According to Julia who has suffered from emotional abuse, she described her experiences as devastating “it’s devastated me, yeah, it had broken me. I feel broken. I don’t, I’ll never be right again.’ And Yasmin who as well suffered from emotional abuse stated that the experience that she went through has left her with a deep scar and whenever she looks into these scars she remembers the entire memory and relives it again.
It is unfortunate to see individuals attacking each other verbally and taking emotional abuse as a light matter. This form of abuse is frequently occurring not only among couples in households but at family gatherings, workplace, and even social media platforms. It is important to understand that these few words that are directed towards others can have an adverse lifetime effect on them. Therefore, be aware of what words you direct towards other and treat others how you would like to be treated.
This article is inspired by DFWAC’s campaign: #ThisIsAbuse
- Abuse Hurts. Domestic Violence Awareness at The University of Michigan. (2009). Retrieved November 20, 2017, from http://stopabuse.umich.edu/about/understanding.html
- Emotional abuse: It’s a bigger problem than you think. (2010). Retrieved November 20, 2017, from http://www.domesticviolenceinfo.ca/article/emotional-abuse-231.asp
- Mathews, A. (2016, September 26). When is it Emotional Abuse? Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/traversing-the-inner-terrain/201609/when-is-it-emotional-abuse
- Nauert, R. (2015, October 06). For Kids, Mental Abuse Can Be Worse than Sexual, Physical Abuse. Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2014/10/09/for-kids-mental-abuse-can-be-worse-than-sexual-physical-abuse/75945.html
- Tracy, N. (2017). Effects of Emotional Abuse on Adults – Emotional-Psychological Abuse – Abuse. Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/emotional-psychological-abuse/effects-of-emotional-abuse-on-adults/
- Women’s experiences of Domestic Violence and Abuse. (2014). Retrieved November 20, 2017, from http://www.healthtalk.org/peoples-experiences/domestic-violence-abuse/womens-experiences-domestic-violence-and-abuse/emotional-psychological-abuse-and-effects-womens-self-esteem
For more posts by DFWAC on #ThisIsAbuse campaign, click below.