Recognizing Verbally and Emotionally Abusive Relationships

Updated 11 months ago


Domestic abuse isn’t always physical.

Experts say for those being emotionally and verbally abused, the pain is just as real.

We spoke with a woman who says she living with a verbally abusive husband.

She fears for her safety. She’s asked to keep her real identity a secret. For her protection, we’ll call her “Kelly.” She says she’s been living with an abusive husband for many years. Kelly says recently the abuse has escalated.

“I get scared. I really get scared. And, there’s, no…I’m stuck,” she said.

She’s asked to keep her real identity a secret. She says she’s been living with an abusive husband for many years. Kelly says recently the abuse has escalated.

“He’s always berated me and been mean and treated me like a child, but over the past few months, it’s getting worse. I get stomach aches, I get headaches, I don’t sleep, I constantly worry,” said Kelly.

She says she’s scared for her safety.

“I’m prepared to leave, but you can’t all the police, and say my husband’s being mean to me, and berating me, and making fun of me, because they’re going to say we can’t do anything. Sometimes, I wish that he would just hit me, so I had a reason to feel the way that I do,” said Kelly.

Experts say there are many forms of domestic abuse…that the abuse is focused on power and control within the relationship, and can be hurting someone without bruises and black eyes.

“When in reality, they are feeling like they are being broken down every day by the words that they’re being called, the names they are being called, the words that are being used,” said Katherine Kurr, with Spruce Run Woman Care Alliance.

Advocates at Spruce Run Woman Care Alliance say abuse within relationships can come in many different forms.

“One of the things that we talk about a lot with people is where the abuse comes from, power and control over your partner. It’s one person. Having that control, having that power over their partner, feeling they have the right to have that power over their partner and doing that through different kinds of tactics,” said Kurr.

Kelly says she has no financial resources to leave, and is not willing to leave her animals behind. Advocates at Spruce Run-Womancare Alliance say they work with many agencies to help those in abusive situations problem-solve situations that can be very isolating.

“Breaking down that isolation, I think is a huge empowering factor for people in moving forward safely and what their choices are,” said Kurr.

If you, or someone you know, may be in an abusive relationship, you can call the Spruce Run Woman Care Alliance hotline 24 hours a day at 1-800-863-9909.


  • Tom Jones

    You know what I think is sad is that
    there are many people out there that are having trouble dealing with things in
    thier lives and are feeling things like depression. I have depreesion/anxiety
    and others from the emotional and severe mental and siclogcal (sp) abuse that I
    suffered from my ex-wife!! What upsets me is when people abuse the definition
    of abuse only to get attention from people and at times abuse it in order to
    get money from the feds.

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