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What constitutes emotional abuse?

Domestic abuse in Colorado is far more than just physical abuse. This is perhaps the most common and well-known type of abuse, but the reality is that emotional abuse happens very frequently. Though it looks far different, it's important to know that it can be very serious.

Exactly what emotional abuse looks like is a bit hard to pin down, since it can be so different for every couple, but it could include things like:

-- Making verbal threats. -- Insulting or demeaning a person, especially in front of other people, whether they are family members, friends or strangers. -- Calling someone names or generally being abusive when it comes to the type of language used. -- Being constantly critical, especially for no reason. -- Trying to humiliate the other person. -- Trying to intimidate someone by acting very angry or yelling. -- Blaming the other person for everything, even when it doesn't make sense. Never being affectionate, never giving approval and never being appreciative. -- Making ungrounded accusations, often because of jealousy. -- Blackmailing someone based on things they've done or intimate information. -- Making threats against a person. -- Making threats against that person's children or pets.

Emotional abuse is one of those things that looks different all the time, but you'll still know it when you see it. Partners are so close that they often know what "buttons" to push and how they can be the most hurtful.

When accused of emotional abuse and physical abuse, those who are being blamed always have the right to a fair trial and their day in court.

Source: GMDVP, "Types of Domestic Abuse," accessed Aug. 25, 2015

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