Emotional factors with dating violence
Emotionally abusive husbands or wives can affect mood, sex drive, work, school and other areas of life.Make no mistake about it; the effects of emotional abuse can be just as severe as those from physical abuse.
Prevalence, incidence, and predictors of dating violence: A longitudinal study of African American female adolescents. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance-United States, 2011. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, 24(1), 52-59. Violence Against Women/National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. This is also an important topic from a gender studies perspective as almost 32% of male adolescents engage in some form of violence, whether sexual, physical or emotional, towards their partners while adolescent violence from females is nearly half of that rate.The literature on IPV among adolescents indicates that the rates are similar for the number of girls and boys in heterosexual relationships who report experiencing IPV, or that girls in heterosexual relationships are more likely than their male counterparts to report perpetrating IPV. stated that, unlike domestic violence in general, equal rates of IPV perpetration is a unique characteristic with regard adolescent dating violence, and that this is "perhaps because the period of adolescence, a special developmental state, is accompanied by sexual characteristics that are distinctly different from the characteristics of adult." Wekerle and Wolfe theorized that "a mutually coercive and violent dynamic may form during adolescence, a time when males and females are more equal on a physical level" and that this "physical equality allows girls to assert more power through physical violence than is possible for an adult female attacked by a fully physically mature man." Regarding studies that indicate that girls are as likely or more likely than boys to commit IPV, the authors emphasize that substantial differences exist between the genders, including that girls are significantly more likely than boys to report having experienced severe IPV, such as being threatened with a weapon, punched, strangled, beaten, burned, or raped, and are also substantially more likely than boys to need psychological help or experience physical injuries that require medical help for the abuse, and to report sexual violence as a part of dating violence. Social-ecological influences on teen dating violence: A youth rights and capabilities approach to exploring context.
The effects of physical abuse are obvious – a black eye, a cut or a bruise – but the effects of emotional abuse may be harder to spot.
The behavior and thoughts of the victim then change in response to the emotional abuse.
Short-term effects of emotional abuse include: A partner may also find themselves trying to do anything possible to bring the relationship back to the way it was before the abuse.
Girls are more likely to report committing less serious forms of IPV, including as a means of self-defense, whereas boys are more likely to report committing more severe acts of IPV, including threats, physical violence and controlling a partner.
Other research indicates that boys who have been abused in childhood by a family member are more prone to IPV perpetration, while girls who have been abused in childhood by a family member are prone to lack empathy and self-efficacy; but the risks for the likelihood of IPV perpetration and victimization among adolescents vary and are not well understood.
And perhaps even worse is the fact that victims of emotional abuse tend to blame themselves and minimize their abuse, saying that it was "only" emotional and "at least he/she didn't hit me." But minimizing adult emotional abuse won't help and it won't hide its devastating effects.