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How To Spot Emotional Abuse

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How To Spot Emotional Abuse

It is important for you to know how to spot emotional abuse.  It is easy to know when you’re being physically abused, but emotional abuse is much harder to identify.  In reality, the two are not all that different, and many believe that the damage from emotional abuse can be even more severe.

Whether the abuse is physical or emotional, it is ALWAYS about power and control.  The abuser feels a need to maintain control over you in order to feel okay about himself.

Examples of abuse include:
 
▪    Calling you names or insulting you
 
▪    Preventing you from contacting family or friends
 
▪    Giving you little or no money
 
▪    Not allowing you to work
 
▪    Hiding car keys so you cannot leave
 
▪    Threatening physical harm or actually hurting you
 
▪    Forcing sexual activity
 
▪    Stalking you
 
▪    Intimidation
 
All abusers follow a cycle of violence.  The cycle consists of tension building, the incident, making up, and then calm.  This will happen over and over and over again until you get help.  Please take a look above and ask yourself if this is happening to you.  If it is, you are at an increased risk of harm, and need to create a safety plan for yourself and your children to get out of the unsafe relationship.  Find a therapist, help group, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233

Lori Freson Lori Freson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Southern California. She has been working in the mental health field since 1997, and has been a licensed therapist since 2002. Lori currently works in her own thriving private practice in Encino and Sherman Oaks, where she serves the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles areas.
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