Rather than physical abuse, some domestic violence involves emotional abuse. Those accused of emotional violence should understand why their partners view them as non-physically abusive.
WebMD explains how emotional violence works. Someone viewed as an abuser may build a legal defense by learning more about this type of mistreatment.
What emotional abuse looks like
Examples of non-physical domestic violence include keeping a partner from seeing family and friends, communicating with hostile words, using spoken threats, stonewalling, tossing insults and manipulating the other person. A few instances may not indicate emotional abuse, but repeated behavior could damage the relationship.
How emotional abuse affects the person who feels abused
Partners who feel they suffer non-physical violence may experience depression or anxiety. Depending on the mistreatment and how the person perceives it, he or she may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or experience suicidal thoughts.
How emotional distancing becomes abusive
Romantic partners who put emotional distance between themselves and their significant other or intentionally refuse to communicate may find themselves accused of non-physical domestic violence. Such behavior may look like intentionally ignoring the other person or treating the other person more like a friend than a significant other.
When emotional abuse makes the other person question reality
Commonly referred to as “gaslighting,” one partner making the other question her or his lived experiences could become a form of emotional mistreatment. Examples of such behavior include telling blatant lies, invalidating an aspect of a person’s identity and saying a witnessed or experienced event did not occur.
Domestic violence does not always involve hitting. Someone may feel words and actions hurt as much as fists.