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a definition of verbal abuse
- You understand their feelings, but they never attempt to understand yours;
- They dismiss your difficulties or issues as unimportant or an overreaction;
- They do not listen to you;
- They always put their needs before yours;
- They expect you to perform tasks that you find unpleasant or humiliating;
- You "walk on eggshells" in an effort not to upset them;
- They ignore logic and prefer amateur theatrics in order to remain the centre of attention;
- Instead manipulate you into feeling guilty for things that have nothing to do with you;
- They attempt to destroy any outside support you receive by belittling the people/ service/practice in an attempt to retain exclusive control over your emotions;
- They never take responsibility for hurting others;
- They blame everyone and everything else for any unfortunate events in their lives;
- They perceive themselves as martyrs or victims and constantly expect preferential treatment.
Copyright 2006 Abuse List.
the ultimate essay on the impact of cyberporn on men
what is emotional abuse?
There is no universally accepted definition of emotional abuse. Like other forms of violence in relationships, emotional abuse is based on power and control. The following are widely recognized as forms of emotional abuse:
- refusing to acknowledge a person's presence, value or
worth; communicating to a person that she or he is useless or inferior;
devaluing her/his thoughts and feelings. Example: repeatedly treating
a child differently from siblings in a way that suggests resentment,
rejection or dislike for the child.
- insulting, ridiculing, name calling, imitating and infantilizing;
behaviour which diminishes the identity, dignity and self-worth of the
person. Examples: yelling, swearing, publicly humiliating or labelling
a person as stupid; mimicking a person's disability; treating a senior
as if she or he cannot make decisions.
- inducing terror or extreme fear in a person; coercing by intimidation;
placing or threatening to place a person in an unfit or dangerous environment.
Examples: forcing a child to watch violent acts toward other family
members or pets; threatening to leave, physically hurt or kill a person,
pets or people she / he cares about; threatening to destroy a person's
possessions; threatening to have a person deported or put in an institution;
- physical confinement; restricting normal contact with others; limiting
freedom within a person's own environment. Examples: excluding a senior
from participating in decisions about her or his own life; locking a
child in a closet or room alone; refusing a female partner or senior
access to her or his own money and financial affairs; withholding contact
with grandchildren; depriving a person of mobility aids or transportation.
- socializing a person into accepting ideas or behaviour which oppose
legal standards; using a person for advantage or profit; training a
child to serve the interests of the abuser and not of the child. Examples:
child sexual abuse; permitting a child to use alcohol or drugs or see
pornography; enticing a person into the sex trade.
- failing to provide care in a sensitive and responsive manner; being detached and uninvolved; interacting only when necessary; ignoring a person's mental health needs. Examples: ignoring a child's attempt to interact; failing to show affection, caring and / or love for a child; treating a senior who lives in an institution as though she / he is an object or "a job to be done."
- Emotional abuse accompanies other forms of abuse, but also may occur on its own;
- No abuse - neglect, physical, sexual or financial - can occur without psychological consequences. Therefore all abuse contains elements of emotional abuse;
- Emotional abuse follows a pattern; it is repeated and sustained. If left unchecked, abuse does not get better over time. It only gets worse;
- Like other forms of violence in relationships, those who hold the least power and resources in society, for example, women and children, are most often emotionally abused;
- Emotional abuse can severely damage a person's sense of self-worth and perception;
- In children, emotional abuse can impair psychological development, including: intelligence, memory, recognition, perception, attention, imagination and moral development; and
- Emotional abuse can also affect a child's social development and may result in an impaired ability to perceive, feel, understand and express emotions.how widespread is emotional abuse?
Only a few studies provide insight about the prevalence of emotional abuse in Canada. Emotional abuse is difficult to research because:
- Its effects have only recently been recognized;
- There are no consistent definitions and it is hard to define;
- It is difficult to detect, assess and substantiate; and
- Many cases of emotional abuse go unreported.
A recent study of Ontario investigations into child maltreatment found
that, in 1993, 10% of investigations alleged emotional abuse.
- 36% had experienced emotional abuse while growing up; 43% had experienced some form of abuse as children or teenagers; and
- 39% reported experiencing verbal/emotional abuse in a relationship within the last five years.Statistics Canada's 1993 Violence Against Women Survey showed that among ever-married or common-law Canadian women aged 18 to 65 years, emotional abuse is widespread. The study found that:
- 35% of all women surveyed reported that their spouse was emotionally abusive.
- 18% of women reported experiencing emotional abuse but not physical abuse in a relationship.
- 77% of women reported emotional abuse in combination with physical abuse. In one Canadian study on abuse in university and college dating relationships, 81% of male respondents reported that they had psychologically abused a female partner.In 1995, a study of seniors' client records from various agencies across Canada found that psychological abuse was the most prevalent form of abuse. The 1990 National Survey on Abuse of the Elderly in Canada estimated that:
- 4% of seniors residing in private homes reported experiencing abuse and/or neglect;
- Questions about insults, swearing and threats were asked as a measure of chronic verbal aggression. The study showed that 1.4% of seniors experienced these forms of emotional abuse in the year prior to the study; and
- Chronic verbal aggression ranked as the second most prevalent form of mistreatment following material abuse.
facts to consider
Growing up in such an environment is terrifying and severely affects
a child's psychological and social development. Male children may learn
to model violent behaviour while female children may learn that being
abused is a normal part of relationships. This contributes to the intergenerational
cycle of violence.
- a partner;
- adult children or other relatives;
- unrelated, formal or informal caregivers; or
- someone in a position of trust.
Seniors who are emotionally abused may experience feelings of extreme
inadequacy, guilt, low self-esteem, symptoms of depression, fear of
failure, powerlessness or hopelessness. These signs may be easily confused
with loss of mental capability so that a senior may be labelled as "senile"
or "incapable" when in fact she or he may be being emotionally abused.
detecting emotional abuse
Emotional abuse may be difficult to detect. However, personal awareness and understanding of the issue is key to recognizing it. The following indicators may assist in detecting emotional abuse.
- failure to thrive in infancy;
- emotional instability;
- physical complaints with no medical basis;
- inappropriate behaviour for age or development;
- overly passive/compliant;
- extreme dependence;
- inability to trust;
- other forms of abuse present or suspected;
- feelings of shame and guilt;
- frequent crying;
- overly passive/compliant;
- delay or refusal of medical treatment;
- discomfort or nervousness around caregiver or relative;
- avoidance of eye contact.
If you are being abused, remember:
-You are not alone;
- It is not your fault;
- No one ever deserves to be abused; and
- Help is available.
if you suspect/know someone is being abused
- Let the person know about available support services; and
- Report suspected or known child abuse or neglect to a child welfare agency or the police.
if you are a service provider
Work with other organizations to:
- Address the needs of those who have been or are being emotionally abused; and
- Keep informed of resources and materials relating to intervention and prevention of abuse.
- 24 hour help-line or distress line;
- transition house or shelter;
- social service agency;
- child welfare or family services agency;
- legal aid service;
- health professional (e.g., nurse, doctor, dentist);
- community health centre;
- public health department;
- community counselling centre;
- home support agency;
- seniors' centre;
- community living association;
- friendship centre;
- religious/spiritual organization.
child sexual abuse prevention kit
Developed by the Caring Communities Project includes "how to" handbooks,
tools and activities, 20 case studies of prevention initiatives and
resource lists of books, programs and videos. The kit is available in
both English and French. Contact: Canadian Institute of Child Health,
384 Bank Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1Y4. Tel: (613) 230-8838;
fax: (613) 230-6654; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A support and educational program for parents of children from birth
to age five. This program is available in both English and French. Contact:
Nobody's Perfect National Office, 384 Bank Street, Suite 300, Ottawa,
Ontario K2P 1Y4. Tel: (613) 237-7667, ext. 225; fax: (613) 237-8515;
72% of American suicides are committed by white males; black men prefer homicide. (This suggests white men blame themselves and black men blame others: white neurotics, black psychotics.) Prisons overflow with men, and juvenile detention centers teem with boys; remedial readers are, in 90% of cases, male, as are those diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, substance abusers, and the violent. Rates of injury are three times as high for males. The lives of men are eroded by frustration inhibition perversion. A white collar drug addict remarked: My work is so boring that it's really hard to do it if you're not hung-over in some way. My friend tried to not do drugs for a while and he was, like, "This is a nightmare! I have to sleep eight hours a day! I'm tired all the time! I wake up and it takes me three hours to get up, and then I'm tired in the afternoon." Men are dying of loneliness, and noone knows.
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