It is the abuser’s use of physical and sexual force or threats that gives power to his psychologically abusive acts. Psychological abuse becomes an effective weapon in controlling a victim, because she knows through experience that her abuser will at times back up the threats or taunts with physical assaults. Psychological abuse can be indicated when the batterer:
- Breaks promises, doesn’t follow through on agreements
or doesn’t take a fair share of responsibility.
- Verbally attacks and humiliates his partner in private or public.
- Attacks her vulnerabilities, such as her language abilities,
educational level, skills as a parent, religious and cultural beliefs or physical appearance.
- Plays mind games, such as when he denies requests he has made previously or when he undercuts her sense of reality.
- Forces her to do degrading things.
- Ignores her feelings.
- Withholds approval or affection as punishment.
- Regularly threatens to leave or tells his partner to leave.
- Harasses her about affairs he imagines her to be having.
- Stalks her.
- Always claims to be right.
- Is unfaithful after committing to monogamy.