Today, approximately one-third of all teens involved in romantic relationships will experience abuse of some kind. However, teen dating violence can actually involve so much more than that. In fact, emotional abuse can be just as devastating and traumatic for young victims. What is Emotional Abuse? Did you know that emotional abuse is the most common type of abusive conduct in teenage relationships?
Abuse of any kind is complicated and difficult to understand, navigate, and identify, but this is especially true for emotional abuse. In physically abusive relationships, there is tangible evidence of violence and distress. Beyond that, emotional abuse can involve extremely sophisticated—and more importantly, toxic—game-playing, like inconsistent, unpredictable displays of affection or love there's a firm line between jealousy and possessiveness, for example. And while the warning signs can seem more ambiguous, psychological and emotional abuse can be just as damaging. According to Beverly Engel, author of The Emotionally Abusive Relationship , the parameters are clear. "Emotional abuse is defined as any nonphysical behavior or attitude that is designed to control, subdue, punish, or isolate another person through the use of humiliation or fear.
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