Emotional Abuse And Brainwashing

These methods have been used in times of war to brainwash prisoners of war. Do any of these sound familiar to you ?

Abuser uses threats, demands, and manipulation to cut victim off from other people. Victim becomes dependent on abuser for everything, including social contact.

Monopolizing attention
Victim feels she needs abuser's approval for everything. Victim "walks on eggshells" to keep abuser from getting angry. Abuser resents and tries to get rid of anything that competes for victim's attention.

Inducing exhaustion weakness
Victim is physically injured, deprived of sleep, or constantly in fear. Begins to feel she is completely and helpless and can not take any action for herself.

Abuser keeps victim in constant fear and anxiety by making threats to harm her or the things she loves, or to leave her, ruin her reputation, or embarrass her.

Occasional indulgences
Abuser gives victim gifts or tokens of affection to keep her hoping for more, usually right when he realizes he's gone too far and she's about to leave.

Demonstrating omnipotences
Abuser claims to be all-powerful an always right, and does things to to demonstrate this, and to demonstrate how weak and stupid the victim is.

Abuser ridicules victim, or ignores her, or forces her to do degrading things or actiond she believes are wrong.

Enforcing trivial demands
Abuser insists things be done his way, forces victim to do small things for him that he could do himself, criticizes what victm does, forces her to account for all her time.

Abuser denies or lies about reality so much that victim begins to doubt herself. Abuser makes good qualities seem bad, makes false accusations, and tells victim she's crazy or stupid.


Psyhological/emotional abuse always accmpanies, and in many cases precedes, physical battering. Both hitting and targeted/repeated emotional abuse can have severe effects on the victim's sence of self and realty.


*Offers to stay with victim because he/she "needs me and can't make it without me"
* Threatens to abuse children or get custody
* Tells partner about affairs
*Demands al of partners attention/resents children
* Puts down partners abilities as parent, worker, and lover
* Threatens violence/retaliation
* Lables victim "crazy, bitch, whore"
* Blames victim for all faults
* Humiliates repeatedly (in private or public) * Repeatedly insults
* Calls names
* Yells
* Withholds approval as punishment
* Insults women
* Jokes about habits/faults of partner

Possible consequences to victim :

* Displays symptoms reflecting "mental illness"
* Has nervous breakdown, depression
* Questions sense of reality
* Experiences unpredictable onsequences of actions
* Feels powerless/learns elplesses
* Commits suicide