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Verbal abuse has become quite common in relationships it is believed to be most frequently imposed on women by their boyfriends or husbands There are many examples of women who are quite verbally abusive as well For the sake of simplicity of pronouns in this paper I will identify the abuser as male and the victim as female Reading though the literature and articles it was obvious that it isnt as well known as physical abuse but is viewed as type of emotional abuse Emotional abuse is as damaging as physical abuse though it is harder to recognize and as a result harder to recover from It was interesting to see how emotional abuse causes long term self esteem issues and profound emotional repercussions for the partners of abusers Self-esteem is worn down sense of options evaporates self-care is compromised and the power of choice is eroded Engel 1990 Furthermore it is amazing how emotional abuse affects an individual even if it doesnt mean leaving black eyes or visible bruises It is more seriously damaging than one may think to ones self-image It is cruel and scars ones soul Over time the victim loses her equilibrium and begins to wonder if she is the one who is crazy At this point I would like to refer to a passage I ran into by Beverly Engel 1990 in the literature which paints a perfect picture of emotional abuse Emotional abuse is any behavior that is designed to control another person through the use of fear humiliation and verbal or physical assault It can include verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics like intimidation manipulation and refusal to ever be pleased It is very similar to brainwashing in that it systematically wears away at the victims self-confidence sense of self -worth trust in perceptions and self-concept Whether it be by constant berating and belittling by intimidation or under the guise of guidance or teaching
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