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What do you know about verbal and emotional abuse?

Recently, your partner leveled a domestic violence charge against you. You have never raised a hand against your partner, but physical violence is not the only form of domestic abuse.

See what the Office on Women’s Health says about emotional and verbal abuse. Learn how your actions and words can act as non-physical blows.

Common examples of verbal and emotional abuse

You could emotionally or verbally abuse your partner and not mean to. Examples of such abuse include demanding to know your partner’s whereabouts at all times, embarrassing your partner in front of other people and keeping your partner from visiting friends and family. Emotional and verbal abuse also takes the form of one partner threatening self-harm when the other partner angers her or him.

Origins of verbal and emotional abuse

Do you know when you first displayed signs of non-physical domestic violence? Sometimes, abuse starts suddenly after the “honeymoon” phase of the relationship. Those accused of being abusers may make their partners feel deeply connected to them while insulting or threatening the other person.

Impact of verbal and emotional abuse

Non-physical violence often affects a person’s physical and psychological health. Those impacted may experience depression, anxiety or chronic pain. Some may question their reality, feel cast aside, experience guilt or shame or feel as if they have no control over their situation. A person in an emotionally or verbally abusive relationship may shift her or his behavior to avoid angering her or his partner.

Do you know how to respond to allegations of non-physical domestic violence? Understanding the root of the accusation can help you build a defense.