Psychological / Emotional abuse


Psychological / emotional abuse or mental abuse as it’s sometimes known as involves someone saying or doing things to make you feel bad about yourself, ultimately lowering your self-confidence and/or self-worth and it can be a type of domestic and family violence as it is a non-physical form of abuse. 


Understanding psychological / emotional abuse

This video explains Psychological / Emotional (Duration: 4.47 minutes, Language warning: Language used may offend)


What is psychological / emotional abuse?

Psychological /emotional abuse is behaviour that aims to cause emotional or mental harm. It may not hurt your body, but can be just as painful and distressing in other ways. No one behaves perfectly in their relationships all the time. However, when someone deliberately hurts you over and over again it becomes abusive. Behaviour from others that aims to make you feel scared or bad about yourself is not OK. This form of abuse can include someone regularly:

  • Embarrassing you in public or in front of family, friends, support workers or people you work with
  • Calling you names
  • Threatening to harm you, your pets, children, or other people who are important to you
  • Treating you badly because of things you can’t change — for example, your religion, race, past, disability, gender, sexuality, or family
  • Ignoring you or pretending you aren’t there
  • Doing and saying things that make you feel confused. This might include someone moving or changing things and then denying they have done this.
  • Always correcting what you say with the aim of making you look or feel foolish

There may be a pattern to the behaviour that happens again and again. Sometimes other types of abuse are going on at the same time. If this kind of abuse is being used to scare and control you it may be domestic or family violence.


Who is responsible for psychological / emotional abuse?

  • Psychological / emotional abuse can happen in any relationship, including with:
  • Boyfriends, girlfriends, partners, husbands or wives
  • Ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, ex-partners, ex-husbands or ex-wives
  • Carers or paid support workers
  • Parents, guardians or other family members
  • Adult children
  • Other people you live with or see often, whether inside or outside the home

None of these people has the right to abuse you in anyway. If your or someone you know is experiencing this abuse, or abuse of any kind, please call us, it is OK to ask for help, we can help you find a pathway to safety.


Understanding forms of non-physical abuse

Source:  OurWatch


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