People often think that domestic violence means physical hostility—fistfights, shoving matches, hair-pulling, strangulation, or using weapons—injuries that result in visible signs like bruises and broken bones. But that’s not always the case. Abusers aim to control their partners and they can use a range of other behaviors to try to gain this control. They often turn to emotional abuse tactics such as bullying, degradation, name-calling, gaslighting, coercive control and threats of physical abuse.
Even repetitive lying to a partner can be a form of abuse, since a survivor may begin to doubt their own experiences and instincts, becoming brainwashed into believing anything their abuser says. These abuse tactics often fall under the category of emotional abuse, and hinge on inflicting confusion and self-doubt onto the victim.
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