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Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

Cheryl Wozny
Witnessing verbal abuse of someone you know or love can be a difficult situation to process. Watching a friend or family member face abuse can create feelings of fear or anger in yourself while the victim is oblivious or minimizes the abuse. So what can you do if you see the mistreatment of one of your loved ones?
Cheryl Wozny
You do not have to be in an abusive relationship to experience verbal abuse. There can be many situations where an individual is subjected to verbal abuse from strangers. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you think. These random incidents are not okay, but it can be hard to deal with them when they come up. It can be in the form of personal insults, name-calling, or other belittling comments.
Cheryl Wozny
When you face the onslaughts of verbal abuse, it can be hard to find your voice amid the chaos and stress. It can be especially complex when it happens in gatherings of family members. Verbal abuse in family situations can make many people feel awkward and unsure how to deal with the abuser and the victim.
Cheryl Wozny
When you are facing verbal abuse regularly, there may be a question of physical abuse following it. The term "abuse with bodily harm" has been coined, and while that is true, it is not always the case. In my experience, those who are verbally abusive may not be physically abusive, but there can be the threat of escalation.
Cheryl Wozny
Verbal abuse in friendships happens more than we think. After all, friends are not the first people that come to mind when you think of verbal abuse. If you are facing any signs of verbal abuse from a close friend, you are not alone.
Cheryl Wozny
Verbal abuse in work relationships happens regularly. After all, haven't you heard the cliche that employees leave bosses, not jobs? In many situations, this is quite true, especially when the person you report to is verbally abusive in the workplace. Unfortunately, I was the victim of verbal abuse at work on more than one occasion. Thankfully, I was able to pick up the pieces of my shattered ego and leave for a better career path.
Cheryl Wozny
For some individuals like myself, the introduction of verbal abuse begins growing up at home. Many times, parents can be a child's first experience with demeaning comments, insults, or even regular bullying.
Megan Lane
What does verbal abuse look like? That's a good question because when verbal abuse happens in a relationship, the abuse can be subtle, overt, or somewhere in between. Verbal abuse is often subtle in the beginning stages of a partnership, and then it evolves, becoming much more recognizable. I've asked myself this question many times: "How do I know if his actions and words constitute verbal abuse?"
Megan Lane
Verbal abuse in relationships isn't acceptable, but I've often wondered if verbal abuse is forgivable. Throughout 15 years of brainstorming and therapy, I came to a conclusion — verbal abuse can be forgivable in some situations, however, the abuser has to work on himself, put in the necessary effort, and actually change.
Katlyn Brinkley 
Finding your voice and reacting appropriately during an initial reaction to verbal abuse can be harder than it seems. Often, we can get wrapped up in a moment, as if our bodies go into shock. Sometimes, it's not until later that you can form words that, in retrospect, you would have liked to say, but for some reason, you didn't. This describes my experiences with verbal abuse, and I hope that my lessons help you avoid this frustration and become powerful in speaking your mind in the active moments of verbal abuse.