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Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Domestic Violence > Verbal Abuse: Protecting Yourself Against This Common Type Of Domestic Violence

Verbal Abuse: Protecting Yourself Against This Common Type Of Domestic Violence


It is not uncommon for couples to occasionally say things in the heat of an argument that they wish they could take back later. Unfortunately, hurtful comments, put-downs, and other remarks often leave lasting scars. If it begins to happen regularly, you may need to take action to protect yourself. Verbal abuse is a common form of domestic violence. The following details what you need to know in order to put it to a stop.

Verbal Abuse As A Form Of Domestic Violence

Many people associate domestic violence with physical acts of abuse, such as hitting, punching, pushing, or sexual violence and harassment. Verbal abuse often goes unreported but it can cause just as much potential harm to the victim.

The Office of Women’s Health reports that verbal abuse is closely tied to emotional abuse and can take a heavy toll on both your physical and emotional health. Verbal abuse may consist of any of the following:

  • Making snide remarks about you, your family, or your interests;
  • Putting down your abilities and questioning your intelligence;
  • Insulting your appearance, including your weight or the way you dress;
  • Making cutting remarks about you and your relationship to other people;
  • Telling you that you are no good or could not make it without your partner;
  • Threatening to hurt you or destroy your property.

Verbal abuse can chip away at your self-esteem, leading to depression, anxiety, and increased isolation from family and friends. It generally involves gaslighting as well, which are comments designed to make you question what happens in your marriage and your version of events, causing you to doubt yourself. This can prevent you from taking the actions need to protect your emotional health and overall well-being.

Protecting Yourself Against Verbal Abuse

Under the Florida Statutes, domestic violence is defined as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death”. While it may not rise to this level, it is important to take verbal abuse seriously. In addition to the damage it does to your physical and emotional health, it is often the first step towards increasingly violent behavior on the part of your partner. Actions you can take to protect yourself include:

  • Inform your family and friends of what is going on in your relationship.
  • Remind yourself that your partner is sick and the things they say simply are not true.
  • Create an emergency escape plan, just in case the situation escalates.
  • Call the police immediately if you feel you are in danger.
  • Chronicle all episodes of verbal or any other type of abuse in a journal. This can be used in requesting a restraining order through the court.

Contact Us Today for Help

You do not have to live with verbal abuse. As an experienced Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorney, Vanessa L. Prieto can help you take the steps needed to protect yourself. Call or contact our office online and request a confidential consultation today.


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