According to wikipedia, “Psychological abuse, also referred to as emotional abuse or mentalabuse, is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder” and Any act, including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth (for more info see http://www.vchreact.ca/read_psychological.htm)
Emotional and Psychological abuse includes:
- Telling someone they are worthless,
- Telling them no one else wants them,
- Forcing someone to do things at an exact time or in an exact way,
- Undermining a persons actions, thought and beliefs,
- Telling someone they are weak and could not manage to look after themselves on their own,
- Making someone believe they are mad,
- Telling someone that the domestic violence and abuse is their fault.
- Not allowing someone to have visitors,
- Controlling who a person is friends with,
- Not allowing them to go out,
- Not allowing someone to see their family and friends,
- Not allowing someone to be left alone with other people,
- Not allowing someone to use the phone, send letters or emails.
- Locking someone in a room or house,
- Not allowing someone to go out to work, not allowing someone to go to college or evening classes,
- Accompanying someone everywhere that they go in order to keep control over what they do, who they see and what they say.
- Telling someone they are a bad parent,
- Getting children to say and do things to upset someone,
- Encouraging children to get involved in the abuse.
- Abusing someone’s children or pets,
- Damaging possessions,
- Accusing someone of lying when they are not,
- Telling someone they are fat, ugly and useless,
- Making someone believe that no one else likes them.
- Threatening to harm someone, or to harm their children or pets.
- Threatening to have someone locked up saying that they are mad,
- Threatening to have someone deported or withholding care if someone is aged, ill or disabled,
- Telling someone they will find and kill them if they leave,
- Threatening to abuse someone in front of their children, family or friends.
Emotional abuse is often difficult to recognise. It can be very subtle, often being overlooked by a person’s friends and family. The person affected may not even think or feel that abuse is taking place.
Emotional abuse can affect women and children experiencing it in many ways. It can leave deep psychological scars and can seriously damage the self-confidence of the person experiencing the abuse. For more information see:
In most of the cultures of this world, abuse is simply not even recognized as abuse, rather considered a moral and spiritual duty of the women towards their husbands. Usually husbands and in-laws use all kinds of abuses towards their daughter-in-laws. In most of the emotional and psychological abuses, women are exposed to, women are simply not aware of the fact that they are being abused on daily basis. one can easily recognize the forms of subtle and traumatic abuses from such examples:
- women are restricted towards visitors, visiting family and friends, and going out in general.
- women are required to perform a set of duties at a particular time, in a specific way, and according to someone’s special needs whether they like it or not.
- women are under estimated in their capability to earn, to stay alone, and to manage the finances alone. In all important matters of life, they are not listened even!
- women are expected to follow the customs and rituals of society blindly, irrespective of the fact that many of them create severe depression, anxiety and stress in turn. For example: traditions designed to feel women less empowered like rukhsati, karo kari, and others.
- women are also expected to live according to their husbands sweet wishes. It would include any thing from having more than 12 children in less than 12 years, to being childless in 20 years of married life! It includes everything from having full cocktail hijab to bikini style beach dress! All depend upon a man- the husband.
- women are taken as sex objects in some of the culures – so they are no more free to move freely.
- Women are never given identity of their own name: at first they are identified with the name of their father and then after marriage they are recognized on behalf of their husbands good names!
In most of the areas of Pakistan, women are treated as if they are not human at all. Their identity, respect and worth are of no value when they are being brought up. So much so, they are not well protected, fed, and secured in their own parents’ kingdom. As a result, they become victims of trauma, anxiety, depression, stress, and many other psychological and emotional disorders. Well, they are not aware of this fact that they are being abused and it is a crime in the dictionary of Law. It is a blessing in disguise as if they knew it, their stress would be doubled!