Verbal Abuse

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What is verbal abuse?

Most couples have arguments and in those arguments we can often say hurtful things we don’t mean or we wish we could take back.

But, arguing and being angry with someone sometimes is different than controlling someone and deliberately trying to make them feel bad.

Verbal and emotional abuse can involve:

  • Calling you names and putting you down.
  • Refusing to trust you and acting jealously or accusing you of cheating.
  • Trying to stop you from seeing family or friends.
  • Demanding that you tell them where you go, who you call and who you spend time with.
  • Putting rules in place about how you do things, for example how long you have to answer calls or texts.
  • Trapping you in your home and stopping you from leaving.
  • Making threats to hurt you, your children or others you care about including pets.
  • Giving you the silent treatment.
  • Blaming you for the the way they behave or saying that you are making it up.
  • Cheating on you.
  • Telling you what to wear, whether you can wear makeup or not.
  • Telling you that you can’t do anything right.
  • Threatening that they will have your children taken from you if you leave.
  • Telling you that you have no rights because of your immigration status and that you will be deported.
  • Making you feel like a bad parent, telling the children not to listen to you.
  • Threatening to hurt themselves.

Take a look at the video from Childline below that shows some examples of verbal abuse and the impact that can have on young people. 

What does the law say?

Under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 it is an offence for someone to behave in a way that makes a partner or ex-partner feel frighted, humiliated, or degraded.  

Where can you get help and support?

Find out where to get support on our dedicated page.

Ask for ANI at your local pharmacy. Ask for ANI stands for Action Needed Immediately. It is a codeword scheme developed by the Home Office to provide a discreet way for victims of domestic abuse to signal that they need emergency help at their local pharmacy. This scheme is available throughout all Boots stores and most independent pharmacies.

If you are suffering any kind of domestic abuse you can go into your pharmacy and if you ask for ANI you can receive a safe space to let staff know that you require an emergency police response or help to contact a helpline or specialist support service.

To find out where your nearest pharmacy is, use the NHS postcode checker.

If your local pharmacy is not a part of the Ask for ANI scheme they should still have other support available to assist you. 

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Visit the That’s Not OK campaign page for more information.

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