Mental and Verbal Abuse and Psychological and Emotional Abuse: Statistics and Risk Factors

Mental and Verbal Abuse and Psychological and Emotional Abuse: Statistics and Risk Factors

Article by Erica Ronchetti

Intimate partner violence (IPV) occurs between two people in a close relationship–these individuals may be current and former spouses or casual dating partners. IPV can refer to mental and verbal abuse, physiological and emotional abuse, to violence and ongoing battering.

Although there haven’t been many population-based studies to assess the mental health consequences of physical and psychological partner violence, a recent National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAWS) analyzed data of women and men between the ages of 18-65. This survey was conducted randomly by telephone and included questions about psychological emotional abuse, mental and verbal abuse, victimization, and other health status indicators.

In 1995-1996, 28.9% of 6,790 women and 22.9% of 7,122 men had experienced some form of sexual, physical, or mental and verbal abuse in their lifetime. Women were significantly more likely to experience sexual or physical abuse. For both men and women, mental and verbal abuse and psychological and emotional abuse increased the risk of depressive symptoms, poor health, substance abuse, chronic mental illness, chronic disease, and injury. Generally, abuse of power and control was more strongly associated with those health outcomes than verbal abuse–higher psychological scores were more strongly associated with negative health outcomes than physical scores.

A more recent 2011 survey found that each year, approximately 4.8 intimate partner rapes or physical assaults occur. Men are the victims of about 2.9 intimate partner physical assaults. 2,340 deaths occurred in 2007 from IPV related behavior–70% women, 30% male. These numbers do not accurately reflect the issue–many victims fail to report IPV to family, friends, or the police. In these cases, victims believe the police are unable to help or assume others will not believe them.

IPV includes the following kinds of behavior:

Psychological Emotional Abuse: Threatening a partner of his or her possessions or loved ones, damaging a partner’s sense of self-worth. Could also include preventing a partner from seeing friends and family, and stalking.

Mental and Verbal Abuse: Includes threats of physical or sexual violence, including gestures, words, to communicate the threat to harm. Also may include name-calling and intimidation.

Physical Violence: When one partner hurts another by kicking, hitting, or another type of physical force.

Sexual Violence: Forcing a partner to take part in a non-consensual sex act.

IPV often starts out with psychological emotional abuse and may progress to sexual or physical assault.

IPV Risk Factors: Who is Susceptible to Causing Loved Ones Mental and Verbal Abuse, or Psychological Emotional Abuse?

Individuals with a history of violence and aggression.Witnessing acts of violence or aggression as a child.Using alcohol and drugs (drinking heavily).Stressful life events (including loss of job, etc…)

Learn more about preventing violence, mental and verbal abuse, and psychological and emotional abuse–if you believe yourself to be involved in a dangerous relationship, get the help you deserve.

Erica Ronchetti is a freelance writer working with Carol Lambert to share facts and statistics about mental and verbal abuse and psychological emotional abuse. If you feel you may be involved in a dangerous relationship, you aren’t alone – get help by visiting our website today.

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