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India Nelson English III Honors Ms. Von Hoene 9 October 2012 Sticks and Stones Growing up most people had heard the famous phrase sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. That phrase may be true for some people, but for some others the words hurt more than the sticks and stones. Every day there is someone experiencing some form of mental abuse; mainly women experience this type of abuse. Mental abuse also is known as verbal, emotional, or psychological abuse. The objective of mental abuse is to make victims question their logic and reasoning, and also threaten their security (Outlaw). Mental abuse usually comes along with physical abuse so sometimes people do not see the full picture; they either focus on the physical abuse or the mental abuse. Majority of the time, people will look more towards the physical abuse instead of the psychological abuse, which is not right. The effects of mental abuse can be just as serious as physical abuse. The current definition of mental of abuse is Emotional/ Psychological abuse covers a variety of behaviors that hurt or injure others even though no physical contact may be involved (Abuse). As Shown below, mental abusers use tactics such as:

Complaints Insults Put-Downs

Name Calling Shaming Humiliation

Threatning Over Accussation Silent Treatment

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The main point of these tactics is to cause the victim to question their self-respect or self-worth, to the point to where it becomes the reason why the victim may stay in the relationship. It is almost like the mental abuser manipulates the victim, causing the victim to think that what is black is white (Outlaw). All of this combined is what causes the abuser to have control of their victim because the victim has been brain washed and weakened mentally; the victim will then believe anything the abuser tells them or settle. If experienced enough mental abuse, it can and will, cause many negative effects to the Victim. According to the article Psychosocial Effects of Physical and Verbal Abuse in Postmenopausal Women, When a person experiences mental abuse, they are put at higher risk for disorders such as anxiety, mood, eating, and posttraumatic stress (Katerndahl et al.). Mental abuse does also cause a higher risk for depression. There are so many more negative effects that come with mental abuse because there are endless ways to hurt a person mentally. Justina Harvin, a woman who had stayed with and married a mentally abusive man for five and a half years, in effect the abuse caused her to have low self-esteem and forget her self-worth (Harvin). It may seem like as of now that mental abuse only causes mental problems, but sometimes the effects can turn physical. Mental abuse sometimes causes the victim to try to commit suicide and sometimes succeed in it (Abuse). There is a risk of death when it comes to mental abuse which is the most dangerous after effect there is. When it comes to the acknowledgement of the fact that mental abuse is bad and does have strong impacts on people's lives, there is little. Scholars and others do acknowledge that mental abuse does exist, but they do not go into much detail. Outlaw says that scholars tend to just lump little bits and pieces of mental abuse together and call it "non-physical" abuse. As an effect of mental abuse being recognized like a tiny paragraph when it deserves to be looked at

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like an essay, the subject receives little attention (Outlaw). It does not help that the scars left behind from mental abuse majority of the time cannot be seen obvious to the naked eye. The Majority of the damage caused by mental abuse is inside of the victim because they are not attacked by their abuser physically; therefore there can not be any scares left outside the victims body. There can only be damage internally for the victim. It is a known, fact that people pay more attention to what they can see, Ms. Harvin even agreed with that herself. There was a study conducted to determine what people classified more as abuse and how serious the different types of abuse were. The people conducting the study found "That behaviors were rated as more abusive when harm to the recipient was evident" (DeHart et al.). Mental abuse should receive a considerable amount of attention recognizing that most victims often say that it is the worst type of abuse (Outlaw).When it comes to mental abuse there is more than meets the eye, literally, so pay more attention. Physical abuse is when a person or "abuser" uses physical harm to gain control over a victim or person. According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Health, the current definition of physical abuse is "Physical abuse refers to striking or beating another person with the hands or an object...." (Abuse). As it is the same with mental abuse, it is mostly females that experience physical abuse. Most men that do abuse women end up doing it as a result of past rejection from family and past lovers. Because of the past rejection they do not react nicely when their current partner shows them some type of rejection (Brown et al.). The chart below shows how the cycle works:

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Rejected By Loved One

Recieves Life Partner


Becomes Enraged

Seeks Attachment

This cycle not only leads to future physical abusers but also potential mental abusers because their minds have been affected by the past and corrupted. There are many ways to physically harm a human being, some physical abusers take advantage of that; harming their partners in more ways than slapping, punching, or beating with their hands. Abusers may take their victim and treat them almost like a hostage, as if the victim has been kidnapped. They may lock their victim in tiny spaces, such as closets, gag them, or even tie them up (Abuse). If all of this was not outrageous enough for an abuser to do, some abusers do things that cause serious physical pain to their victim. An abuser may beat their victim with an object, burn them, and even assault them with a knife or gun (Abuse). Physical abuse can lead to murder. The Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender states "In 1999 domestic violence caused thirty-two percent of homicides in women" (Parke). These examples show what can possibly happen to a victim experiencing mental abuse as it escalates into physical abuse.

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The Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender has found "Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury and death for women in the United States..." (Parke). The effects of physical abuse are put in categories that separate whether the injuries left behind can be seen by the naked eye or not (Parke). Of course, with physical abuse, everybody knows that bruising and scars are included but sometimes there is more than bruising and scars left. The victim may be lacerated with a knife wound, and have gunshot wounds (Parke). If these effects are not horrible enough, some abusers sexually assault their victim and transmit a sexually transmitted disease, such as Chlamydia, or even HIV AIDS (Parke). Because there are so many ways to physically harm the human body, the list of effects goes on and on. These effects can be experienced by a mentally abused victim if they allow the mental abuse to transition into physical abuse; if they stop the mental abuse now these effects will be the least of their worries. Both physical and mental abuses are terrible; the fact that people judge whether one is worse than the other, majority of the time it being physical, should be changed. Emotional abuse and the effects are just serious as physical abuse for several reasons. One being that it usually is the first form of abuse shown by an abuser before emotional abuse turns into physical abuse. According to Journal Of Family Violence There is evidence that some types of non physical abuse serve as clear risk factors for physical abuse may increase risk of more frequent violence among those already being abused (Outlaw). Knowing about emotional abuse can prevent physical abuse, which is a major benefit for women seeing that ten to sixty-nine percent of women are exposed to physical abuse sometime in their life (Martinez et al.). Mental abuse is like a match, it starts out like a tiny flame that if not put out, eventually spreads into a gigantic blaze. Prevent the risks of mental and physical abuse by learning that mental abuse is a very serious subject.

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Emotional abuse comes along with just as many negative effects as physical abuse. For example emotional abuse has a very serious and bad impact on a females well-being, especially if the victim is a young female. Younger victims of emotional abuse have a higher increased risk for psychological problems (Katerndahl et al.). Emotional abuse is not the obvious; it is subliminal and sometimes can be the worse abuse experienced by the victim even though it is the most silent. Some people may think that a victim experiencing physical abuse would have more damage and risk for depression, but it actually turns out that may not be so true. The Journal Of Family Violence found that Others also have found that psychological abuse increases risks for depressive symptoms for women in the absence of physical abuse (Katz et al.). Since physical abuse is physical people would believe that it is more likely to cause death but emotional abuse has just as much risk for death as physical. Instead of the abuser taking the victims life away, which is seen more in physical abuse, the victim can actually take their own life away. According to The Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Health In fact emotional abuse is a stronger predicator than physical abuse of the likelihood of suicide attempts in later life (Abuse). Both physical and mental abuse leave behind plenty of damage, and sometimes the damage is not seen. Most people live by the saying Ill believe it when I can see it but that should not be the case when it comes to abuse. Just because the damage of a mentally abused victim can not be seen it does not mean it is not there. In physical abuse, the victims can see their bruising and wounds, and when they do see it they treat it. So the wound heals eventually, but with mental abuse the wounds and bruising left behind to the victims mind and well- being can not be seen, and therefore is not treated. If not treated the damage can last forever and the wounds never heal, not eventually, but never. The scars of mental abuse should be looked at and deserve to be treated. If the victim is to broken inside to treat themselves, the people around them

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should help them not neglect them just because there is no blood gushing out, broken bones, or bruising. Abuse is a horrible thing, it does not matter if it is physical, economic, or mental abuse, it is all terrible and it needs to be looked at as more than battery. There are so many aspects to abuse that have just as much impact as physical abuse. People can prevent physical abuse and the effects if they just paid a little more attention to other abuses such as emotional. No type of abuse is acceptable people should acknowledge more than one type of abuse, and realize the effects of other abuse. Mental abuse is just as serious as physical.

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Works Cited "Abuse." The Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Health. Ed. Laurie J. Fundukian and Jeffrey Wilson. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2008. 2-7. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 20 Sep. 2012. Brown, Jac, Kerrie James, and Alan Taylor. "Caught In The RejectionAbuse Cycle: Are We Really Treating Perpetrators Of Domestic Abuse Effectively?." Journal Of Family Therapy 32.3 (2010): 280-307. Academic Search Complete. Web. 13 Oct. 2012. DeHart, Dana, Diane Follingstad, and Alice Fields. "Does Context Matter In Determining Psychological Abuse? Effects Of Pattern, Harm, Relationship, And Norms." Journal Of Family Violence 25.5 (2010): 461-474. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. Health: Depressive Symptoms, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, State Anxiety, And Suicide." Journal Of Women's Health (15409996) 15.5 (2006): 599-611. CINAHL with Full Text. Web. 13 Oct. 2012. Harvin, Justina. Personal Interview. 3 Oct. 2012. Katz, Jennifer, and Ileana Arias. "Psychological Abuse And Depressive Symptoms In Dating Women: Do Different Types Of Abuse Have Differential Effects?." Journal Of Family Violence 14.3 (1999): 281-295. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Sept. 2012. Katerndahl, DA, et al. "Psychosocial Effects Of Physical And Verbal Abuse In Postmenopausal Women." Annals Of Family Medicine 8.3 (2010): 206-213. CINAHL with Full Text. Web. 27 Sept. 2012.

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Outlaw, Maureen. "No One Type Of Intimate Partner Abuse: Exploring Physical And NonPhysical Abuse Among Intimate Partners." Journal Of Family Violence 24.4 (2009): 263272. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Sept Parke, Michelle. "Domestic Violence." Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender. Ed. Fedwa MaltiDouglas. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. 404-408. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 14 Oct. 2012.