Verbal Abuse

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Verbal Abuse – The Characteristics
Verbal abuse is a very common malady that attacks every human being at some point in their lives; some more than others. It can be a very devastating form of abuse when the person experiences the attacks frequently. Verbal abuse cannot be readily seen like bruises, but it causes mental and emotional harm. Characteristics identifying verbal abuse are, but not limited to:

  • Always referring to the opinions of others as irrelevant and wrong.
  • Inconsideration of a person’s feelings.
  • Using verbal abusiveness jokingly.
  • Refusing to listen to others.
  • Using accusations and blame to manipulate and control others.
  • Being judgmental and critical of others.
  • Belittling the concerns of others.
  • Consistently berates a person’s confidence.
  • Threatens to do physical harm.
  • Name-calling.
  • Purposeful cancellations of appointments or agreements.
  • Making difficult or impossible demands on others.
  • Denial of perpetrating the abuse.
  • Causing fear in people through outbursts of rage.

Verbal Abuse – Avoiding Depression
Sometimes words are used harshly by people without realizing how hurtful the words sound. A daily barrage of hurtful words leads to depression, which is very common in an abusive situation.

Avoiding depression can be accomplished when steps are taken to dispel it. Inactivity of one’s situation breeds depression. Here are some active steps people can take to counteract the effects of depression brought on by verbal abuse.

  1. Realize that abuse is not your fault. Abuse is never justified.
  2. Discuss the unacceptable behavior with the abuser. Let the abuser know how much the harsh words hurt.
  3. Discuss ways both people can change to improve the relationship.
  4. Seek counseling: whether it is together, separately, or individually.
  5. Surround yourself with a support system of friends, family, church group, etc.
  6. If the verbal abuse becomes physical, personal safety is imperative. Leave the volatile situation and allow time for cooling down.
  7. The person dealing with depression due to verbal abuse must stop blaming him or herself for the problems.
At the moment of being verbally abused, remember to:
  • Stay calm. Do not become agitated.
  • Let the abuser vent. He or she will lose steam and may realize the person refuses to become a victim of their abuse.
  • Do not reward the abuser by reacting to their actions with hurtful responses. Lashing out lets the abuser know they had power in affecting the person’s emotions.

Verbal Abuse – A Personal Story
I have dealt with emotional and verbal abuse from my husband, which has been very difficult. God has helped me through it by bringing Bible verses to my mind. They have helped me so much.

    “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6).

    “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

    “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
Following Jesus’ example has helped me the most. He suffered much more than I have. He was tried, found guilty of crimes He didn't commit, and ultimately killed in the most humiliating, painful way. If Jesus scorned the shame of the cross, then I can scorn the shame applied to me by my husband. All the while, I treat him with respect.

God loves me and He loves you. Do you know Him? He is able to help us through our trials.

Find Hope


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