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Viewpoint: Emotional Abuse Should Not Be Ignored

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Viewpoint: Emotional Abuse Should Not Be Ignored

Retrieved from betterhelp.com

Retrieved from betterhelp.com

Retrieved from betterhelp.com

Retrieved from betterhelp.com

Rachel Mergen, Staff Reporter

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“Emotional abuse is an attempt to control, in just the same way that physical abuse is an attempt to control another person. The only difference is that the emotional abuser does not use physical hitting, kicking, pinching, grabbing, pushing, or other physical forms of harm. Rather the perpetrator of emotional abuse uses emotion as his/her weapon of choice,” wrote Licensed Professional Counselor Andrea Mathews at Psychology Today.

Emotional abuse seems to be ignored all too often, as no one can point to bruises and scars like they are able to do with victims of physical abuse. According to a 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, almost half of women and men surveyed experience emotional abuse from an intimate partner in their lifetime. With statistics so high, it is obvious that it should not be ignored.

For women, according to the same study, the most common forms of emotional abuse are being labeled by terms like ugly, fat or stupid; being humiliated; dangerous anger towards them; having their confidence harmed by accusing them of not being good enough; and making threats of physical harm. For men, the most common form is having their whereabouts tracked by their partner, along with other forms similar to the ones that women face.

Men, possibly to the shock of many, reported the most emotional abuse in the study.

Emotional abuse by an intimate partner can lead to many long term struggles in a person’s life, especially if the victim is unable to escape from the partner’s wrath within a reasonable amount of time.

According to Cascade Behavioral Health, victims of emotional abuse may be driven towards substance abuse, alcoholism, sexual problems, inability to keep healthy relationships, hostility, constant arguments with close loved ones, social withdrawal, paranoia, depression, and impulsive behaviors. Many of these possible effects can be life threatening, which is another reason that emotional abuse must be taken seriously.

If a person doesn’t allow for space, has irrational jealousy, shows unpredictable affection, shifts the blame, uses put-downs, or guilt-trips their partner, they are emotionally abusive (www.joinonelove.org). Relationship with this person needs to end, so that the victim can begin the healing process, which can, for some, take many years. If others see such signs in relationships of others, it is necessary to advice the victim in the relationship, so that the proper actions can take place.

Counseling may be an appropriate recovery step following emotional abuse. In La Crosse, many options are available, including the services of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Counseling and Testing department. To make an appointment to discuss past experiences in emotional abuse, along with other traumas and harmful situations, students can stop into their office at 2106 Centennial Hall or call 785-8073. A multitude of other options are available in the city and can be found online by simply searching “La Crosse Counseling.”

Emotional abuse is a serious problem that is not to be ignored. It may not leave a bruise on the skin, but one can be found in the mental states of the victims.

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About the Writer
Rachel Mergen, Multimedia Editor


Year: Senior
Hometown: Bloomington, Wisconsin
Major: English with a Rhetoric and Writing Emphasis and Political Science
Minor: None
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