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What are some non-physical signs of domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse can take many forms, and in some cases, may happen in a way that is not always immediately recognizable. The Mayo Clinic notes that some forms of abuse might occur in a way that causes you to question whether it is even happening. 

Learning the warning signs of non-physical domestic abuse can help you recognize whether your partner means to control certain or all aspects of your relationship and how to leave a potentially dangerous situation. 

Verbal insults

Your partner or spouse may call you a variety of disparaging names and try to pass it off as his or her way of joking around. He or she may use a variety of insults or put-downs, including: 

  • Comments about your weight or appearance  
  • Your choice of clothing  
  • The way you speak  
  • Your choice of hobbies or career  

This type of abuse is often difficult to combat, especially if your partner accuses you of being too sensitive or your inability to see the humor in his or her words. 

Controlling your actions

If your spouse or partner attempts to control when you see friends or family, when you see a doctor or any other types of behavior that seek to control your actions, he or she is likely trying to gain complete control of your relationship. This type of domestic abuse can escalate and turn physical depending on the degree of control your partner desires, so it is important to recognize the signs. 

A shift or serious imbalance of personal liberties and power usually signals a problem with non-physical domestic abuse. Depending on the individual situation, this behavior may escalate into more dangerous types of abuse in the future.