If you know anything about the gentle woman riding this bike, you would also know that she is not a victim of verbal abuse for she attacks it as a preventive measure; but you’d never know it because she is so happy and happy doesn’t make the news often enough.

Using the HBO show Last week Tonight John Oliver’s voice, “Is “Emotional Abuse” still a thing?” Unfortunately, it sure is and it is fairly easy to detect.

Detection requires questions about character and conduct, and not just the general default question, “Do you have bruises?”

But even to that question the answer is yes. Because the bruises are far more mental than physical but must potentially be considered just as deadly. Taken solely from personal experience, some of the outward signs of prolonged mental abuse are sudden weight lost, being on pins and needles, never being seen as an equal in the eyes of the verbal abuser, self-destructive behavior, feeling less passionate about our passions, etc.

My personal experiences aside, here’s the clinical take on the Effects of Verbal Abuse:

The psychological effects of verbal abuse include:

  • fear and anxiety
  • depression
  • stress and PTSD
  • intrusive memories
  • memory gap disorders
  • sleep or eating problems
  • hyper-vigilance and exaggerated startle responses
  • irritability, anger issues
  • alcohol and drug abuse
  • suicide
  • self-harm
  • adapted from

Here’s another person’s thoughts from Tumblr: “This sort of violence can be hidden; there are no bruises to act as proof, but it damages, cruelly and by stealth. I have said to friends that, sometimes, I would rather you hit me, that you would then perhaps understand that what you do is wrong.” Source: cut-and-puff

As is evident verbal abuse causes psychological damage. Verbal abuse is just not healthy. That’s why we must figure out better ways to punish verbal abusing bullies. We have to take their punishment seriously for verbal abuse too often leads to cycles of physical abuse and eventually senseless killings.

The entire objective of the verbal abuser is to belittle in order to make their target of abuse feel less secure about themselves. Many victims are so beaten down that they don’t have the strength or the support system from which help is readily available.

Verbal abuse puts the police and social service organizations in a tough position. Since you have nothing physical to link your emotional scars too, there is little help that can be provided by our help agents beyond words of encouragement or advice such as you should leave. But leaving is not always as simple as it sounds.

Still, rather we stay or leave no one has the right to be a verbal abuser. And we must as a society take a woman’s complaint about verbal abuse just as seriously as we would a woman with a black eye or one who has had her jaws wired shut due to a beating that probably was preceded by a long period of verbal abuse.

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