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Emotional Abuse Fighting the Lack of Key Information 2008.

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1 Emotional Abuse Fighting the Lack of Key Information 2008

2 What Is Emotional Abuse? It’s a form of violence. It’s an improper, and unhealthy way to interact with other people. It’s a problem that involves two or more people. It can be prevented and/or solved. In some countries, it is considered a crime and it’s punished by the law.

3 Some Possible Causes of Abuse Abuser’s inferiority complex Feelings of frustration Unhealthy reference role models during childhood Unresolved inner problems Lack of the ability to understand and use other ways to relate to others Need to exercise control over other people Insecurities of both, the abuser and the victim of abuse Lack of Key Information

4 Profile of An Abuser Overall, it’s about people with a significant level of emotional immaturity; most likely they have been victims of emotional abuse during childhood themselves and have not been able to learn healthy ways to interact with other people. Frequently, frustration and lack of self confidence lead abusers to exert an excessive control over others, using diverse restrictions and belittling other people.

5 Profile of a Victim of Abuse Feelings of inability, emotional and/or financial dependency, lack of self confidence, lack of accurate references regarding what’s right and what’s not. Generally, they present a low self esteem and they have learned to receive “crumbs of affection” or “pity strokes”. In some cases, the victim of abuse may present certain level of “comfort,” the victim is willing to pay a high price so as not be “in charge of his/her life”.

6 Some Signs of Abuse There are some “Red Flag” alerts or symptoms of abuse that are more subtle than others that are more tangible. An ambitious, unscrupulous, inconsiderate person, who also tends to belittle others, usually conveys this abusive attitude through simple messages, either verbal o non verbal, in most aspects of his/her daily life.

7 Some Ideas to Spot the Signs of Emotional Abuse What are they saying? It refers to the subliminal messages hidden by the obvious words How are they saying it? It refers to gestures, the inflection of the voice and other non verbal behaviors that accompany the words Why are they saying it? It refers to the purpose and the impact pursued through a given message (manipulation or mind games)

8 Important Facts: Often times, a person commits abuse, and another person allows it to happen, due to the lack of awareness of key information. It is also important to consider the cultural background and the intellectual level of the abuser and the victim of abuse. Always bear in mind that there are different points of view, from the personal and unique perspective of each person.

9 Some Types of Abuse Emotional dependency Financial dependency Emotional and/or physical neglect Power abuse Intellectual abuse Emotional sexual abuse (not physical) Cultural abuse

10 Cycle of Abuse Phase 1 - TENSION BUILDING: There’s an issue and the tension increases, breakdown of communication, victim feels need to placate the abuser. Phase 2 - INCIDENT: Verbal and emotional abuse. Anger, blaming, arguing. Threats. Intimidation. Phase 3 - RECONCILIATION: Abuser apologizes, gives excuses, blames the victim, denies the abuse occurred, or says it wasn't as bad as the victim claims. Phase 4 - CALM: Incident is "forgotten", no abuse is taking place. (Back to Phase 1)

11 Prevention and/or Solutions to the Problem of Emotional Abuse Become aware Avoid self deception Get key information Don’t be part of abuse Use of community resources Seek help, share your experience with people who can contribute with possible solutions and offer different points of view

12 To Keep in Mind… In order to avoid abusing others it’s important to develop a sound perception and a healthy understanding of the feelings and emotions of other people. Also, it is crucial to be empathetic and keep an open mind. Abuse can be stopped and solved, and we can also help abusers and victims of abuse to find healthier ways to interact.

13 What Does It Take to Reach True Happiness? In order to live a happy and peaceful life, we need to learn ways to achieve and meet our needs in an ethical and healthy manner: we need to receive sound affection, we need to be accepted and respected for who we are, we need to be able to meet our basic needs (material, emotional, spiritual, professional, etc.), we need to feel we can reach our goals in life successfully, and achieve every task we carry on (study, work, career, etc.)

14 Emotional Abuse – A Guide to Key Information by Mariana Barrancos 2008

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