Abuse. The word conjures up horrific images of women battered and bruised, with broken bones, black eyes, and disfigured faces. These are only the outward signs, visible when society is ready to pay attention to the collateral damage.
But is that the only type of abuse? Or is there something else at play that merits consideration when defining abuse?
There absolutely is.
Currently, many people define abuse in terms of unwanted physical and sexual touches, but that definition needs to be broadened to include emotional abuse. Emotional abuse can happen long before abuse escalates to a physical level.
I believe emotional abuse, or what some may call psychological abuse, is far more widespread than we are led to believe. There are plenty of statistics that detail how many women have reported physical and sexual abuse, but do those statistics include women who are being emotionally abused?
If the answer is “no,” then why not?
Because we don’t talk about it.
And again, why not?
Because we are too embarrassed.
‘Emotional Abuse is the mental control of another by the systematic undermining of that person’s self-confidence, self-esteem and sense of self.’
Only the woman experiencing this type of torture can fully understand the depth of the problem. And the sad part? Women who try to explain their situation are often told that the problem does not exist.
By now, you should see the larger picture, which depicts the hidden and insidious nature of emotional abuse. There are no outward signs such as scars, bruises, or broken bones–only a glazed look in the victim’s eyes when she thinks no one else is looking.
Do not fool yourself into thinking that this unfortunate behavior is reserved for those in one particular level of society. Nothing could be further from the truth! Emotional abuse occurs in all households, from the richest to the poorest. It spares no one.
It’s time to stop the carnage.