Saturday, July 30, 2011

Recommendation For If You Decide to Call Out Verbal Abuse

There is a great blog from Healthy Place that discusses what may happen when one names the abuse for their abuser. Respect-Me Rule number 10 "Call Attention to Verbal Abuse" is what deals with this in the Marshall approach. Yet, Kellie Holly, tells how the calling out the abuse escalated to violence in her relationship:
My Results From Calling Out Verbal Abuse (Yours May Vary)Naming the type of abuse out loud escalated the abuse to the point that he was a raging bull at all times. We COULDN’T talk. I hated having to give up whatever I was doing to leave the room, and a lot of the time he followed me. We played a sick “follow the leader” game around the house with him shouting as I tried to find refuge (and continued naming the type of abuse).

Naming the abuse can do several things, 1. show you, as it did Hollie, that your partner has no intention of changing, 2. escalate the abuse, especially if you call attentiont to abuse in a confrontational way, 3. or allow your partner to become more aware of he or she is doing.

Some abusive partners truly don't realize the extent of their behvaior--and remember, we often have trained them it is OK to mistreat us. In these cases a low key approach to calling attention, often without words, can benefit change in the relationship. However, if you are with a hard-core verbal abuser, a real control freak who is very afraid of losing control, you might experience some of the same things Hollie did. She put a list of the abuse up on the refrigerator. Coming across judgemental and accusatory to any partner probably will have a simelar outcome.

When I began my path to having my husband repsect me, I called attention to his abuse by whipping out a tape recorder every time he started in on me. It dramatically changed his behavior right away. So even if you don't think they know what they are doing, at some level they do know or their behavior wouldn't improve when they think others might hear. There are other ways to call attention to the abuse in a non-threatening way...if any of you have ways to do it, things you have used sucessfully, please share..


  1. I was just going to write a post like this one. :) A friend of mine kept getting really hurtful and abusive texts from his ex. He asked her to stop texting him, but they didn't stop.

    Finally, he told her he was going to post every text she sent him to his blog. He got two more. He posted them both, and told her they were there if she wanted to read them. And every text since then has been respectful.

    I thought it was an amazing way to handle it. He never labeled what she was doing as abusive, but he didn't have to. When she read what she had written outside of the context of her own emotions, she immediately changed.

    In my own life, I first started using the phrase, "I don't deserve to be treated this way." He immediately told me how and why I DID deserve to be abused.

    Eventually, I learned to say, "I don't like the way you are treating me." He couldn't argue with that. It didn't mean he stopped, but it was definitely a more empowering place for me to come from.

  2. Hey, sorry to leave an unrelated comment, but I couldn't find any contact information for you. I'm wondering if you'd be interested in a guest post for your blog. Drop me an e-mail at NatalieHntr86 at gmail, thanks!


Please be respectful in how you use language.