1. INSULTS: Constant criticism, which emotionally injures your personal, emotional, sexual, professional, or other selves. Insults can greatly undermine your self-confidence and eventually cripple you emotionally.

  2. REJECTION: Direct or indirect statements, which create feelings of unworthiness. Insults and rejections teach the victim that she/he is not worthy of receiving loving behavior. Rejections can be used as punishment for not cooperating with an abusive pattern. Also abusers may deliver a rejection in an attempt to justify their anger towards you.

  3. EMOTIONAL THREATS AND ACCUSATIONS: Direct or indirect statements about the intent to cause emotional or physical harm, or to create emotional loss to yourself or those you love, depend on, or are responsible for. This includes lying about your behavior, attitudes, or emotional state to anyone else in such a way that you cannot defend yourself.

  4. EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL: A statement or behavior, which uses your fear, guilt, insecurity, or confusion to trap you into giving the abuser power over you. Most victims prefer their private lives to remain private. To an already terrorized person, emotional blackmail may result in a blank check to the abuser in her/his life.

  5. CRAZY-MAKING STATEMENTS AND BEHAVIOR: Distorts reality and destroys the possibility of honest communication creating confusion and insecurity. Examples include: -- saying one thing and meaning/doing another, acting ignorant about a known subject, stating a lie as if it were a known truth, having good intentions or regrets which are never acted upon.

  6. NOT BEING TAKEN SERIOUSLY, BEING IGNORED AND NEGLECTED: And other ways of undermining self-esteem. Ignored requests and denied needs cause self-doubt and emotional pain. It leaves one feeling unimportant and possibly undeserving of fair treatment.

  7. SOCIAL AND SEXUAL PREJUDICE: Added to all the other forms of emotional abuse which females suffer, society often perceives women as helpless, emotionally immature and often irrational. Once an abusive relationship is ended, they still struggle with being treated fairly. Fortunately, the assertive skills learned, as a recovering victim can be put to good use in a sexist society.

  8. POSSESSIVE AND PUNITIVE BEHAVIOR: Perceiving a person as property. The behavior can include: jealousy, limiting freedom, creating isolation, denying capabilities, blocking opportunities to develop skills, talents, and potential.

  9. BASING A RELATIONSHIP ON UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: The abuser assumes he/she knows what is best for the victim. Being denied the opportunity to discover and define oneself prevents the possibility of developing a mutually beneficial and realistic relationship. By imposing self-interests upon another person, the abuser creates an emotionally unhealthy obligation for both people.
THE RIGHT TO make mistakes . . . and be imperfect
THE RIGHT TO refuse requests without having to feel guilty or selfish
THE RIGHT TO judge your own behavior and take responsibility for your own actions
THE RIGHT TO offer no reasons or excuses to justify your behavior
THE RIGHT TO change your mind
THE RIGHT TO feel and to express feelings, including anger, as long as you don't violate another's rights
THE RIGHT TO be competitive and to achieve
THE RIGHT TO enjoy rest and leisure
THE RIGHT TO have your needs considered as important as the needs of others
THE RIGHT TO decide which activities will fulfill those needs
THE RIGHT TO have your opinion respected
THE RIGHT TO be independent
THE RIGHT TO say "I don't know" or "I don't care"
THE RIGHT TO get what you pay for
THE RIGHT TO ask for information from professionals
THE RIGHT TO decide when to be assertive
THE RIGHT TO not be responsible for another's attitudes and/or feelings
THE RIGHT TO be treated as a capable adult and taken seriously


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