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Emotional and Psychological Abuse

Emotional and psychological abuse consists of non-physical violent behaviour, such as exerting control or instilling fear, which causes emotional or mental harm to the victim.

Examples of Emotional and Psychological Abuse

  • Persistent rejection or humiliation, which harms the victim’s well-being or sense of self-worth
  • Isolating the victim from friends or family
  • Not allowing the victim to work, monitoring and controlling the victim’s movements, social activities or finances, or making all decisions on the victim’s behalf
  • Threatening to harm the victim, the victim’s family or pets as a form of punishment
  • Threatening to abandon the victim
  • Causing the victim to develop self-destructive, anti-social, criminal, deviant or other non-adaptive behaviours
  • Intentionally placing the victim in the way of danger or exposing the victim to acts of abuse

Signs of Emotional and Psychological Abuse

Victims may suffer from low self-esteem, depression, trauma and anxiety, and some may have suicidal thoughts. Victims often feel isolated, helpless, confused about their situation and live in fear. Emotional and psychological abuse can occur on its own or co-exist with other types of abuse.