Psychological abuse endangers women with “hidden injuries.”
In my last post, I highlighted a controlling partner’s beliefs of superiority and power that drive his behavior and expectations of his intimate partner. Since psychological abuse or coercive tactics are often not easily recognizable or understood as hurtful, women can miss how deeply affected they become. If they do see these effects — changes in their mood or functioning — they often may not look to their partner’s behavior as the cause.
Lila, 34, shared:
I dread hearing my husband shout at me, “You’re like your mother!” I grew up with a mother who had mental health issues, and early on, I shared this painful history with my husband. Intellectually, I know I’m not like my mother, but emotionally I still feel vulnerable, and my husband knows it. When he attacks me in this way, I become immobilized with shame and can be depressed for days.
Psychological abuse that’s difficult to identify endangers women the most.