Physical & Emotional Abuse

Emotional or psychological abuse occurs when someone is exposed or subjected to behavior that is psychologically harmful.  The abuser intentionally inflicts emotional or mental anguish through threats, humiliation, verbal abuse or non-verbal conduct.

Examples of emotional abuse include constantly belittling, berating, isolating, ignoring, or rejecting someone.

Emotional abuse, like physical abuse, is used to control, demean, harm or punish the victim. While the forms of abuse may vary, the end result is the same – the victim is fearful of the abuser and walks on eggshells to please him/her and try to be safe from harm.  Long term effects of emotional abuse include isolation and withdrawal from others, decreased self-esteem, depression, physical illness, alcohol and other drug use/abuse. 

Emotional abuse is sometimes referred to as “pre-battering behavior”, as it often escalates to physical abuse.

These questions will help you identify if you are being emotionally and/or physically abused, and provide some ideas on available support and resources.
Source:  Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness your relationship like?

If there is an accommodation you need in order to participate in a WRS program or activity, please contact WRC 101 at (319) 273-6275.


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We believe that all people, regardless of their differences, should treat each other with mutual respect and dignity. Diversity and individual rights will be honored and respected.