Am I Being Emotionally Abused? Sometimes, the signs of emotional abuse aren't readily apparent to the victim. Emotional abuse can come in many forms. It may be a peer degrading you, a boss or coworker berating you, a spouse or loved one belittling you, or many other possibilities. Unfortunately, because emotional abuse is often not as obvious as physical or sexual abuse, it can go unnoticed or ignored. However, it is not a less severe form of abuse. It is a valid and painful experience of being dehumanized or demeaned and the effects of emotional abuse can be devastating. Emotional abuse can also be difficult to respond to effectively because it can sometimes feel vague or subjective. As such, I will first explain the signs of emotional abuse, how to recognize it, and then discuss how to address it.