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OpinionsPSYCHOLOGY: Emotional abuse is a common menace

PSYCHOLOGY: Emotional abuse is a common menace


Dr Ramavtar Sharma

Domestic violence has many forms though the physical abuse is the one which comes to mind at the first place. But emotional abuse may be even more prevalent than the physical abuse and should be considered an equal form of . This form of torture is not visible at first sight but it has a highly destabilizing effect on the life of the victim. Society should acknowledge this form of violence and be made more sensitive and responsive. The same goes for judicial system of the nation because the emotional torture leaves no detectable scars and signs but it destroys its victim covertly. Abuse in intimate human relationships has other forms as well like financial abuse, mental manipulation and stalking. All these forms of violence are no less harmful than physical harm.

When one person tries to gain and maintain control over other person and more so when that person happens to be an intimate partner or financially dependent person then the legal question of emotional abuse should logically be applied. As intimidation, manipulation and humiliation are parts of emotional abuse, societal or legal action should always be an option for the victim. Unfortunately, most of the cases of such behaviour patterns are overlooked because they are considering personal matter between two individuals but actually they aren't interpersonal happenings. There is a complex psychology at play hence, the final outcome might be disastrous.

Now is the time to know what is emotional abuse. There are a variety of behaviour patterns by which a person can manipulate another person. One pattern is to make a person feel unworthy of love and respect. In another case, the victim is treated in a way as of no value in the eyes of the tormentor or having no way out without him. To create such situation, a number of tactics are used. These tactics include threatening the victim about physical safety, children or loved ones' future, name-calling, ignoring presence or absence, monitoring online or workplace activities with overt suspicion and regular threats to leave home without information. Repeated threats of suicide is also a tool to terrorise the victim. In many cases the tormentor willingly causes public or private humiliation or embarrassment to the victim by demeaning.

These behavioral patterns lead to anxiety, depression, physical stress, insomnia and bodily illness in the victim. Victim can be one among husband, wife, lover, parents, partner or caretaker. Methods of torture can come in the form of harrassing lectures, outbursts of anger, lies and walkouts. Trivializing everything that concerns the victim is also a type of emotional abuse which is expressed as jokes, sarcasm, weakness, insulting reaction and demeaning nicknames. The tormentor mostly poses as a highly desirable person without whom the victim is totally worthless.

Like every form of torture, a time comes where things become unbearable. The victim may try to find some safe emotional shelter but finding such a shelter isn't easy as society in general and in in particular isn't sensitive to emotional abuse as it considers such a crime as a personal matter between two individuals. This is not a humane attitude and needs serious introspection. It is duty of every society to provide critical stress management and hotline establishment to prevent suicide, abandonment of home and self harm by emotionally tortured victims. On a personal level, the victim should take professional help so as to set some boundaries in the relationship and decide about an exit plan if things become irreparable. Emotional and psychological aspects of life are not properly understood by people in general but there are people who do understand them hence, it is wiser to seek their help. There should always be hope even when one is engulfed by a sea of hopelessness.


The author is Physician and freelance writer, Jaipur

Mobile : 9549554123

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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