Verbal Abuse.

Verbal abuse (also known as reviling) is best described as a negative defining statement told to you or about you; or by withholding any response thus defining the target as non-existent. If the abuser doesn't immediately apologize and rarely indulge in a defining statement, the relationship may be a verbally abusive one.

Have you ever been in a verbally abusive relationship and didn't know the signs? This is one topic I wanted to tackle because I've been verbally abused twice in my life. The first time wasn't intentionally nor was I in a relationship and the other I believe wasn't but when it was all said and done it never changed so I believe he knew what he was doing regardless of how I felt and I was in a relationship with this person.

The identifying characteristics of verbal abuse are:
- Name calling
- Ridicule over self expression
- Jealousy over friends or family
- Belittling your concerns or needs
- Berates your self confidence
- Gives you the silent treatment for unclear reasons
- Making impossible demands
- Outbursts of rage
- Frequent criticism or humiliation
- Swearing & Disrespectful
It's amazing how looking at the signs of verbal abuse I relate with almost each one in some way, shape, or form. If you can relate to any of these signs please get out of the relationship or make the person aware of what they are doing to you whether it's your parents, friends, husband, wife, boyfriend, or even girlfriend. In complete honesty I believe verbal abuse is more traumatizing and hurtful than domestic abuse.

Ways of Responding to Verbal Abuse:

  • Abuse is never justified so, you should never feel that it is your fault.
  • Let the abuser know how hurtful their words are and discuss with them the fact that it is unacceptable to you. Set boundaries on what you will and will not accept from your abuser.
  • Seek counseling, either together or separately.
  • Surround yourself with a support system of family and friends. Discuss with them what is happening and how you are feeling.
  • If the verbal abuse escalates to physical abuse, leave. Your personal safety is far more important than the relationship.
  • Do not engage in conflict with your abuser. If your spouse becomes angry stay calm, walk away and don’t give him/her what they want…a reaction from you.
  • If you believe you are in a domestic or verbally abusive relationship please seek help call 1-800-799-SAFE or visit

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