Emotional Abuse, which is commonly referred to as Psychological or Mental abuse, manifests itself through various forms of behavior which demean, humiliate, and punish women.
It strives to isolate women from close relationships with family and friends as well as persons from the workplace or cultural, religious and educational institutions.
Emotional abuse is usually accompanied by explicit forms of criticism, ridicule, intimidation, harassment, and denial of participation in decision-making processes, especially in financial and health concerns.
Another most potent form of emotional abuse is SILENCE; the weapon which my ex-husband used for decades to negate the presence, contributions and value of myself and our four children.
My own experience, coupled with the feedback which I received from women after they had read my book, “Women Are Worthy: Why Perch like A Chick when You Can Soar Like an Eagle”, highlights the fact that although emotional abuse is endured by women in every culture, religion and socio-economic group, it is not understood, acknowledged or seen as a detriment to society as women and children strive to eradicate the scars which affect victims long after the abuse has stopped.
Although women experience different manifestations of emotional abuse it is quite evident that in whatever form, the over-riding reason is for men to exert control over their victims, in ways that are not visible to even extended family members who cannot understand abuse which leaves no visible signs of broken bones, black eyes, or bruises.
As one who has endured emotional abuse for decades I have often said that it is like gaseous fumes filling a room, unseen and indescribable, yet so potent that victims end up sobbing in their pillows at night because their plight is one which places them on the menu but never sitting at the table.
Until the media, as well as health professionals, and government agencies acknowledge and work at eradicating this dastardly scourge inflicted on women, not only in their homes but in every echelon of the work-place, as well as in government, educational and religious institutions, there will be very little done to break the cycle of degradation.
Generations of victims, if not supported, will only continue to suffer in silence.
Consequently, It is imperative that we, the victims, continue to support each other and drive the conversation until men and women of good will begin to hear our voices and assist in dealing with this dilemma.
We need agents of change on our side. What will you be…the door or the door-keeper?