March 12, 2021
By Dateline NBC
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence identifies emotional abuse as when a person uses words or actions to frighten, control, or isolate a victim.
It is a subtle and difficult form of abuse to recognize because domestic violence does not always manifest as physical abuse. Studies show emotional and psychological abuse can often be just as extreme as physical violence and have severe mental health impacts.
Lack of physical violence does not mean the abuser is any less dangerous to the victim, nor does it mean the victim is any less trapped by the abuse. There are many more signs that indicate emotional abuse.
More information can be found in this research-based brochure on emotional abuse from the University of Michigan Health System.
If you or someone you know is being mentally and emotionally abused, the National Domestic Violence Hotline offers 24/7 confidential and anonymous help by phone, text, or even online chat and can also help a person find a shelter or other services.
Anyone who feels that they are in immediate danger of physical harm should call 911. Find local resources at the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.