Many of us have heard the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” What an outrageous lie! Rudyard Kipling said, “Words are the most powerful drug known to humanity.” Your abuser knows that words are an extremely effective weapon.

Broken bones are visible and broken bones may land the victim in the hospital. Broken bones also heal.

On the other hand, emotional and psychological scars are not visible, and women are often dismissed when they try to reveal it. Sometimes they are even blamed for provoking the abusive behavior.

Many bystanders do not believe the victim unless they can see physical proof.

But emotional abuse poses a serious threat. Hurtful and demeaning words sear themselves into an abused woman’s brain and burrow deep into her subconscious, effectively reorganizing and damaging her thought process. Eventually, she will begin to believe everything her abuser tells her.

She is being manipulated by a very clever and devious person.

Abusers use words to embarrass, smother, and undermine their victim’s sense of self-worth. Sometimes the perpetrator—often, but not always, an adult male—does this to women in front of family and friends. Can you imagine anything worse than being embarrassed in front of the people you love?

You would want to cover your face and disappear.

As Jodi Picoult says, “Words are like eggs dropped from great heights; you can no more call them back than ignore the mess they leave when they fall.” Words leave a mark that can take a lifetime to fade.

Let the healing process begin.

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