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  • Amanda Fox

Who can be a victim of abuse?

Who can be a victim of abuse?

Mothers, grandmothers, teachers, preachers, psychologists, therapists, social workers, accountants, presidents, secretaries, fathers, grandfathers, engineers, scientists, brothers, sisters, friends, even you.

Anyone is capable of being a victim - even those who have a total understanding of what abuse looks like.

Abusers are very smart at inconspicuously manipulating and controlling their victims. They isolate their victims from other people, leading them to lose their sense of "self" and become dependent on the abuser.

Abuse reported in 2019

In 2019, there were 622,695 calls and texts to the Domestic Violence Hotline. The highest type of abuse reported was emotional and verbal abuse, with sexual abuse being the lowest type of abuse reported. Emotional and verbal abuse ranked higher than physical abuse, financial abuse, digital abuse, and, as previously stated, sexual abuse.

Physical vs. Emotional Abuse

A common misconception is that abuse is physical; but emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse can have just as negative an impact as physical abuse, and can go undetected for longer.

Physical abuse tends to be more easily spotted by friends, family, and colleagues, while emotional abuse is a silent killer. Often, physical and emotional abuse go hand in hand. Sometimes, an abuser who does not physically harm another can get away with it for longer, leading to dire consequences for their victims, including suicide.

How does abuse happen? (In a nutshell)...

Abuse happens over time. Over time, the abuser will use many tactics, discreetly, to obtain control of their victim, and the victim is unaware of what is happening. Some tactics they may use include “love-bombing” and making them feel wonderful about themselves, spoiling them with gifts and trips, or mirroring their beliefs. Eventually, they slowly take away these tactics and replace them with negative reinforcement and harsh (often unwarranted) criticism. Abusers lack empathy and compassion, while victims tend to have a lot. When a victim is told something is wrong with them, they will work hard to correct that trait, only to be met with more criticism later. The cycle continues.

Subscribe to the newsletter to continue to learn more about abuse, how to spot it, and how to get help. Learning about what abuse looks like could save your life or someone else's.

If you feel like you, or someone you know, is being abused, there are options. Reach out to the Domestic Violence hotline at, 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE); TTY: 1-800-787-3224 . . If you have thoughts of suicide reach out to 1-800-273-8255.

Love and Light,



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