Verbal abuse is a way of hurting others, using words or silence as a weapon. Unlike physical abuse, verbal abuse doesn’t give rise to broken limbs, black eyes, or bruises. Yet it can be just as emotionally disturbing and often leads to anxiety, fear, despair, or depression.
Emotional abuse in relationships is widespread and can have serious effects in one's life. Whereas physical and sexual abuse can easily be identified by a single definable offensive act, emotional abuse can often be disguised as an expression of love or humor and is not always perceived as being abusive when it occurs.