The Many Faces of Relational Abuse

Wouldn’t it be great if the old adage, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” actually rang true? Unfortunately this is far from the truth. Proverbs 15:4 says that a ‘deceitful tongue crushes the spirit’. Physical abuse is not the only behavior that can ‘break’ someone. Relational abuse can take on many different forms. Below is a list. You may see some of these terms used interchangeably at times (e.g. psychological/mental) or separate. In addition, there is a spectrum and while the behaviors exhibited may not seem as ‘extreme’ in comparison to other examples, ANY abuse is abuse and creates a toxic relationship.

  • Psychological
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Verbal
  • Spiritual
  • Financial
  • Physical
  • Sexual

In upcoming articles we will describe each of these in more detail. Stay tuned!