Heartbreak

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou Exposes The Brutal Reality Of Emotional Abuse

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sad woman suffering from abuse

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in May 2016.

When we think about domestic abuse we often think of the hurt we can physically see: black eyes, bruises, broken bones, etc. But while absolutely any kind of domestic violence is NEVER okay, some of the most dangerous instances of abuse aren't physical. 

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Emotional abusers are masters at using words and subtle, insidious behaviors to manipulate, control, and tear down their victims, and that distinction is exactly what makes them so incredibly threatening. 

Using #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou and #MaybeSheDoesntHitYou on Twitter, emotional abuse survivors from all over the world are making a powerhouse statement about this type of domestic violence. Together, they're fighting back against emotional abuse and drawing widespread attention to the less obvious ways abusers hurt their victims. 

1. They gaslight you into thinking their abuse is your fault.

You get into a fight about something he did, yet in the end, it's you that's feeling guilty for accusing him of something, even though he did what you're accusing him of. Sound familiar?

2. They make you feel like you're never good enough.

You're about to go out for a night on the town with the girls. You're dressing up for once and actually feel good about yourself and then he comes into the room and tells you to change or that you're wearing too much makeup. He doesn't want you to have confidence because you would start to see your worth or leave him.

3. They belittle you into feeling dependent on them.

4. They put you in a constant state of anxiety and uncertainty.

You're on high alert every time you hear a door slam or even his footsteps walking up the stairs because you're so used to him yelling at you.

5. They make you feel responsible for every problem in the relationship.

It's always your fault when he snaps or that he's angry, never his. You carry the entire blame in the relationship.

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RELATED: How I Saved Myself From An Emotionally Abusive Man — And You Can, Too

6. They punish you for seeking outside support from friends or family.

7. They use the love and concern you have for them against you to maintain power.

8. They intimidate you with physical violence, even if they never physically harm you.

9. They guilt you into staying in the relationship.

10. They make you believe that you deserve their abuse.

11. They are actively against you bettering yourself.

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12. They use the silent treatment as a punishment.

Above all else, no one deserves to be treated as an object by someone that is supposed to love them unconditionally. Look for the signs. And if it's not you that's in that kind of situation, then be there for the person that is. They're gonna need your support more than anything. 

If you are experiencing these or other instances of emotional abuse, call the Domestic Partnership hotline at 404-873-1766.

Jacqueline Treboschi is a writer and editor focused on digital communications, relationships, lifestyle, and psychology.

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