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What is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse, like brainwashing, can be subtle and you may not even know it is happening.

Emotional Abuse

One person controls the relationship by using fear, force or intimidation and eventually weakens your self-worth and confidence.

Emotional or mental abuse is more obvious when your partner yells or swears using emotional bullying. Not so obvious emotional abuse can include your partner giving you the “silent treatment” to control you or denying things they’ve said to you or things they have done to you. If you hear, “I don’t know what you are talking about,” and “I never said that,” these are warning signs that your partner might be emotionally abusing you.

You may be a victim of emotional abuse if your partner:

  • Calls you names, bullies you or continually criticizes you
  • Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive
  • Is always right and puts you down in a way that makes you doubt yourself
  • Isolates you from family or friends
  • “Takes over” your friendships
  • Monitors where you go, who you call and who you spend time with
  • Does not want you to work
  • Controls finances or refuses to share bank information or money
  • Punishes you by withholding affection or giving you the “silent treatment”
  • Expects you to ask permission for all you spend or do
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family, or your pets
  • Humiliates or embarrasses you in front of others
  • Makes you feel controlled, isolated, intimidated, or exhausted

Get the Help You Need

Call Day One to talk about your relationship if you have concerns. Advocates in the Day One network can help you develop a safety plan and give you options for leaving for your partner or for getting support and counseling for yourself or for your children. Call the Minnesota Day One Crisis Hotline number 1.866.223.1111.