Even though your partner never raises a hand against you, that does not mean you cannot experience domestic violence. Verbal and emotional abuse may leave psychological scars rather than bruises, broken bones or welts.
WebMD explains non-physical abuse and its signs. You could have grounds for a domestic violence case and not realize it.
Defining non-physical domestic violence
Non-physical abuse is actions and words used to intimidate, manipulate, control and keep power over another person. Examples of verbal abuse include humiliation, giving someone the silent treatment and ridicule. Emotional abusers may try to isolate or scare their victims into submission.
Rather than direct violence, a person accused of emotional or verbal abuse may resort to tactics like intimidation, throwing items, slamming doors, hurting pets and destroying belongings. Even though non-physical abusers may not physically strike victims, their words and actions could harm another’s peace of mind and self-worth.
Sometimes, non-physical abuse victims do not recognize the abuse they face. Violent words and actions may precede physical violence.
Understanding the signs of non-physical violence
Non-physical abusers may attempt to control and isolate their victims. This could look like preventing a person from seeing a physician, keeping a person from seeing loved ones, tracking someone’s car or phone, controlling another’s money or monitoring emails or text messages.
Examples of intimidation and humiliation include belittling a partner in front of others, threatening to leave a partner, threatening to harm a child and chastising another constantly. Abusers may force a partner to fall in line through dangerous driving behaviors.
If any of the above sounds familiar, you could be in a relationship with an emotional abuser. Professional help may let you realize your circumstances and how to get out of them.