Among the many types of domestic violence and abuse, psychological and emotional abuse are often used interchangeably due to their similar characteristics and effects. Both psychological and emotional abuse are types of abuse that do not involve physical contact. Because of this, the two are seen by many as less severe than physical abuse. However, convictions of psychological and emotional abuse can lead to the same penalties as convictions of physical abuse. Despite these similarities, there are slight differences between the two.

Psychological abuse is a type of abuse involving the use of verbal and social tactics in order to control someone’s way of thinking. Abusers will often convince the victim that they are crazy, manipulate them, or make harmful threats towards them. Emotional abuse is a type of abuse that involves controlling someone’s feelings and causing intense mental trauma. Abusers will often demean their victim, engage in victim blaming, and cause their victim to undergo intense humiliation.

Both psychological abuse and emotional abuse go hand in hand with physical abuse. 95% of male physical abusers also engage in psychological abuse (NCADV). Both types of abuse also cause intense harm to the victim’s mental health. 7 out of 10 psychologically abused women have symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression (NCADV).

Many tactics of psychological abuse are also classified as emotional abuse, and vice versa. However, the distinguishing factor between the two is psychological abuse’s stronger effects on a victim’s mental capacity. While emotional abuse affects what people feel, psychological abuse affects what people think.

If you feel you have experienced psychological or emotional abuse, or may be accused of perpetrating these kinds of abuse, Kirsch Daskas Law Group PLLC is happy to offer you proper legal expertise. Contact KDLG to help protect yourself and those you love.