Emotionally or Verbally Abused Assessment

Emotional and verbal abuse are insidious forms of domestic violence that can leave lasting scars, often hidden from plain sight. Recognizing the signs and seeking help is crucial for individuals experiencing this harmful behavior. According to a study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, nearly one in three women (30.5%) and one in four men (24.8%) in the United States will experience emotional abuse by an intimate partner in their lifetime, highlighting the prevalence of this issue. Another study published in Child Development found that children exposed to emotional abuse are more likely to experience mental health problems, academic difficulties, and relationship issues later in life, emphasizing the long-term consequences of this form of abuse.

In response to the concerning prevalence of emotional and verbal abuse, we’ve developed an Emotional or Verbally Abused Assessment Tool. This confidential tool provides individuals with a safe space to assess their experiences and gain insights into the dynamics of abuse. By answering a series of questions, individuals can evaluate their relationships and determine if they are experiencing emotional or verbal abuse.


What is Emotional and Verbal Abuse?

Emotional and verbal abuse refers to patterns of behavior aimed at undermining an individual’s self-esteem, confidence, and emotional well-being through non-physical means. This type of abuse can involve insults, threats, manipulation, gaslighting, and control tactics intended to exert power and control over the victim. It can have profound psychological effects, leading to anxiety, depression, and low self-worth.

Problems of Emotional and Verbal Abuse

Emotional and verbal abuse can have profound and lasting effects on individuals, eroding their self-esteem, confidence, and mental well-being. Some common signs of emotional and verbal abuse include manipulation, criticism, intimidation, and isolation. Victims often experience feelings of fear, shame, and helplessness, which can impact their ability to seek help or leave abusive situations. Additionally, emotional and verbal abuse can occur in various relationships, including intimate partnerships, parent-child relationships, and peer interactions, making it challenging to identify and address.

Addressing Emotional Abuse in Your Loved Ones

Witnessing a loved one experience emotional or verbal abuse can be incredibly painful and confusing. It’s natural to want to help, but navigating this situation requires a delicate approach. Here’s how you can support a loved one and empower them to seek a healthy future.

  • Changes in behavior or personality: Has your loved one become withdrawn, anxious, or depressed? Do they seem less confident or self-assured than usual?
  • Walking on eggshells: Does your loved one seem constantly on edge, trying to avoid upsetting the abusive person?
  • Physical symptoms: Emotional distress can manifest physically. Watch for changes in sleep patterns, appetite, or unexplained aches and pains.
  • Isolation: Is your loved one becoming increasingly isolated from friends and family? Does the abusive person limit their social interactions?
  • Excuses for the abuser’s behavior: Does your loved one constantly make excuses for the abuser’s actions or minimize the severity of the situation?

If you recognize several of these signs, it’s important to have a supportive conversation with your loved one. Now you can access resources and support networks for preventing and addressing child sexual abuse by evaluating the risk using the Child Sexual Abuse Calculator.

Solutions for Supporting Your Loved One

Supporting a loved one through emotional or verbal abuse can be challenging and delicate. Recognizing the signs of abuse and offering assistance requires a sensitive approach that prioritizes their well-being and autonomy. By creating a safe space for open communication and providing resources for support, you can empower your loved one to navigate their situation with confidence and take steps towards healing and safety.

  • Open and Empathetic Communication: Choose a calm and private moment to express your concern. Focus on your loved one’s well-being and avoid accusatory language. Let them know you care and are there to listen without judgment.
  • Active Listening: Practice active listening skills, validate their feelings, and avoid offering unsolicited advice.
  • Focus on Empowerment: Instead of dwelling on the abuser, encourage your loved one to focus on their own strength and resilience.
  • Provide Resources: Share the Emotional and Verbal Abuse Assessment Tool and information on helpful organizations like the National Domestic Violence Hotline or the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
  • Respect Their Choices: Ultimately, the decision to leave an abusive relationship rests with your loved one. Respect their pace and offer support in whatever way they choose.

Additional Tips for Supporting a Loved One Experiencing Emotional Abuse:

  • Be patient and understanding. Change takes time, and your loved one may not be ready to leave the abuser immediately. Be patient with their journey and avoid pressuring them into making rushed decisions.
  • Validate their feelings. Let them know that their experience is real and their emotions are valid. Avoid minimizing their struggles or dismissing their concerns.
  • Offer practical assistance. This could involve helping them with childcare, errands, or transportation. Taking these tasks off their plate can alleviate some stress and allow them to focus on their well-being.
  • Be mindful of your own safety. If the abuser is a threat to you as well, prioritize your own safety and set clear boundaries with them.
  • Educate yourself. Learn more about emotional abuse, its dynamics, and the resources available to support victims. This knowledge can better equip you to understand your loved one’s situation and provide effective support.
  • Connect with other supporters. Consider joining a support group for friends and family members of victims of domestic violence. This can provide you with a safe space to share your experiences, receive emotional support, and learn from others navigating similar situations.
  • Remember, you are not alone. Many resources are available to both the victims and those who support them. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help and guidance.

In closing, it’s also important to take care of yourself during this process. Seek support from our emotionally or verbally abused assessment tool, family, or therapist to manage your emotional well-being. You can also learn to identify signs of physical abuse in children and explore methods for addressing them through the Child Physical Abuse Calculator.

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12 thoughts on “Emotionally or Verbally Abused Assessment”

  1. My brother drinks. When he is drunk he often times get violent with himself and sometimes things. He threatens me. I get very frightened. I can defend myself, but I feel that would lead to consequences to my nephew. I live in fear that he will leave and take him with him. I also don’t want him to leave. I love him, he’s my brother. I feel trapped.

  2. My elderly father is emotionally abusive to me and I’m his main care giver. He lived with me a while going through a divorce caused by his anger issues (which he denies he has). I think he has some dementia on top of it all. He makes sure before I leave seeing him that he makes me mad before I leave, demanding something that he knows I can’t help him with. He keeps calling the sheriff on me and my husband because we won’t bring him a battery charger to start his truck. I won’t let him drive (it’s not safe for him and especially for others). My friends (and husband) tell me to be done with him but none of my brothers or sisters will take on the responsibility. He has skin cancer and other health issues and if I don’t help, he will NOT get the care he needs. It’s so mentally exhausting. What to do??

    • I have the same problem with my mom … To top it all she feels as if I owe her my whole life because she held me for 9 months(not considering the fact that I had a horrible traumatizing childhood so idk what she thinks she’s so great). I just had my first baby and I’m already over the 9 months thing …. Point is, they don’t know how to do anything(baby boomers) …. And make u feel bad for not doing everything for them when they don’t even care to try themselves.
      These days we are more in tune with our feelings, they were raised to not focus on emotions at all. “Do this!” “Don’t ask me why” “because I said so”. This is what elders know and what they expect. It would literally be a miracle for an older person to change . As for u. Put boundaries! IT HURTS! I had to do it with my mom and I’m only 26. but u need to do it because this is ur life too and so far he seems to know how to ruin it . U weren’t born to fix ur parents. Look back n reflect. My brother doesn’t do shit either … So I know how u feel … Ur the one always fixing everyone’s problems….ur anxiety is probably sky rocket and I bet this stress has caused fights in ur marriage. This is you time . Your dad had his time to make his life happy. This is ur time to be happy. Hire someone to help . Get help from the government there is a lot you can do. But don’t lose urself . U don’t need to do everything . Go on a lovely date instead:)

  3. I get emotionally and verbally abused by my Dad for years. I am 22 now and he still hurts me. I never feel good enough or worthy enough. He constantly puts me down. He hit me in the face when I was 19 years old. I feel insecure and unsure of myself.

  4. I feel emotionally abused by my father. Everytime I say something stupid, like in a moment of anger, or refuse to follow through on a direct order, he abandons me at home or in some store parking lot-WHEN HE IS MY ONLY RIDE. Especially irritating when my car is unavalible. And I’m 23, I feel stuck living at home, but where else can I go? I have no job or source of income to save for a place of my own.

  5. My mom tends to argue with me, a lot. When we argue, she tends to bombard me with questions I don’t have the answer to (“why are you like this?”) and she gets frustrated and gives a speech about how she will always understand. Then, she cries, and at the end of the day, I have to go and apologize without any response than “thank you”, even after I share my feelings of hurt at her reactions. Then, she starts to say how everyone in the house tries to deal with me (my moods/mood swings, my asocial attitude…) and how I don’t care, or “I’m not trying”. Another example of her usual behavior that brought me here out of concern was how I ask to do something, like read together, or spend time, and she either says “no”, or: “yes”, only to keep delaying the activity until I give it up. By this point, I don’t ask for anything. I may have depression, and a year ago, I was flunking class and having trouble concentrating because of how tired and how unmotivated I was. My mom yelled at me at how irresponsible I was, and (I tend to panic-laugh/smile when yelled at/hit) I started smiling. She slaps me and yells again before telling me to get ready; we were leaving to the store for my step-father’s birthday present shopping. There was another time, in the car, where my stepsister fell asleep and I didn’t want her head on my lap, so mom yelled to sit down, and I started crying and telling her I try so hard but SHE doesn’t care. My feelings were ignored. During family counseling, she always cries, and I express that I don’t want to be there because she always cries and she starts saying again how everyone tries so hard but it’s like I don’t care/try/want things to get better, so then I cried. My mom doesn’t like it when I cry, and often discourages me from ever crying, saying it’s not worth it.
    My friend, whose sister tends to get hit often by their dad, heard my concerns and then mentioned emotional abuse. Concerned, looked it up. My mother applies to most of it to the point it makes her the textbook example.

  6. My boyfriend tells me what I can and cant talk about. When I am talking about something he doesnt want to hear…he tells me that is enough. He calls me clumsy. When I ask him a question he sometimes rolls his eyes or tells me it was a dumb question. He has a quick temper. He is 6ft 2 and a lot bigger than me. I am now scared to say anything to him because of his reaction. He has two dogs that he loves and shows them a lot of affection. He wont touch me anymore. He gets very angry if I say anything about it. I am very depressed and sad. I dont know how much of this I can take. I am afraid I am just over reacting.

  7. My mom and I argue so much. She once dragged me on the floor to my room, she said she hated me, she kicked my cat, she threw all my things on the floor, she threatened to kill me. WHAT DID I DO SO WRONG? I”M ONLY 12!!!!

  8. I live with my grandmother. She constantly yells at me everyday it doesn’t matter what i do she acts so hateful to me. She constantly yells at me about money and blames me for not having money. I will try and do something nice for her and she just acts so mad about it and i never hear a thank you. She tells me that i can never do anything right and she tells me im the reason our family is split up and the reason my pawpaw died. i make it a point to tell her i love her before i leave for school and she rarley says it back…i just feel so alone and unwanted 🙁

  9. i live with both of my parents i am 17 in college. i’ve done a couple mistakes here and there i broke up with my ex because i didn’t have any feelings for them i am waiting for my ship date to the military to leave but i can’t wait any longer i don’t know what to do if i don’t leave.. i have my boyfriend i’m nt allowed to see and we secretly talk he wants to help me because he’s seen and knows how i’ve been hurt.. i want to go with him but my mom threatned and said that i could pretend they died if i left that i’ve done nothing but disappoint them.. they took my phone and car because i broke up with that guy and i just hate that i’ve never tried to disrespect them and when i need them to be there for me they’re not.. they say i could talk to them about things but when i do they bash me for it… and judge me and say i think i know everything but that if i leave im gonna be a mess up.. i’m really unhappy and hurt.. i don’t have it in me to leave but i know i should.. what can i do…?

  10. I never fully realized that my parents were emotionally abusive up until now. When i was a young child it was physical abuse throwing off chairs,slapping and intense lashing sessions with a leather belt. I thought they had gotten “better” since I am older 17 . I have developed acute depression and anxiety. They have switched to more sneaky means of hurting me. I am unable to hold down a job for more than 3 months due to my intense anxiety and phobia. They do not hesitate to put me down and mock me for my poor choice. And to quote “if you are going to do so badly you shouldn’t try at all” . Or another good quote is “my 17 year old daughter is acting like a child grown women don’t cry ” or ” I have done everything thing to stand up for you and you repay me like this, you don’t know how good you have it did you live under communism?” Today they criticized me in public and got even more mad at me for crying. Walking next to me and whispering what a lazy childish brat I was, or calling me a drama queen. I want to die I can’t take much more of this. I already hate myself enough.

  11. my mom and i are complete polar opposites. ever since i was 13 she and i have sparred every moment of the day. we dont get very many good times and when we do they dont last long. she yells and screams at me when i do something wrong and threatens to burn / destroy my possessions (legally mine too, i make a lot of money off art at 16). she takes my electronics away, my only connection to my friends online, if i do anything wrong at all. whenever i ask for an eye to eye discussion though she just mocks me (eg going “ohhhhh sweetie, ohhh child, you dont know anything” etc) and insults me. i constantly feel very depressed and i have a very low sense of self worth. im terrified of my mom. she ripped my computer out of the wall once and threw me onto a hallway. i know i make a lot of mistakes but i wish she would approach them less violently. i wish shed listen to what i have to say instead of taking my electronics away all the time and yell when i try to object.


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