After getting into a heated argument with your girlfriend, you learned she charged you with domestic violence. Because you never raised a hand against her, you feel confused about where the accusations of harm stemmed from.
The Office on Women’s Health explains non-physical and mental domestic abuse. Understand how words and actions may amount to violence in another’s eyes.
Examples of emotional and verbal abuse
A person who dictates what her or his significant other should wear embarrasses her or his romantic partner in front of others or takes control of another’s finances may face claims of non-physical domestic violence. Other examples of verbal and emotional abuse include demanding to always know a significant other’s whereabouts, accusing the other person of infidelity, name-calling, and threats of violence or self-harm.
Origins of emotional and verbal abuse
Sometimes, signs of emotional abuse do not appear until a couple enters a relationship. Before, the accused may lavish the other person with love and compliments or make the other person feel like the two share a deep, unbreakable bond. When once-loving behavior turns to controlling, demanding and abusive behavior, the person who feels abused may experience embarrassment, confusion or surprise at the shift.
Effects of emotional and verbal abuse
Non-physical violence may have short- and long-term effects on a person’s mental and physical health. The person who feels abused could become anxious or depressed or experience persistent pain. Some question their interpretation of events, experience shame, or feel controlled or unwanted. The person may alter his or her behavior and personality to keep the peace in the relationship.
By understanding the nuances of non-physical domestic violence, you could build a better defense.