According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the power and control of verbal abuse is certainly a form of domestic violence.

I was in a grocery store several days ago when I heard a man speaking to his partner in a low voice. So I pretended to look through various products on the shelves in front of them. The man said in a low growl, "if you buy that, I'll take your car keys for a week. Do you understand me?"

My back tightened in disgust. Power and Control is the foundation of Domestic Violence. The woman became defiant and put the items he forbid in the shopping cart. He grabbed her arm and said, "You know the consequences. I don't care if the kids like this stuff. I don't. It's my money. Put it back!"

I could only wonder: What would be the consequences? Is she physically abused? And the children? Are they learning a pattern which could ultimately be destructive to their lives?

In another instance at a fashionable department store, a man was picking out clothes for the woman at his side. She frowned at his selections. That's not what I'm looking for," she said softly. "I know what I like. Why don't you go to the men's department while I look for it?"

He was not about to budge. "This is for my company dinner party. You'll wear what I deem to be suitable. Now put that dress back and go try on the ones' I have chosen or I'll just take someone else to the dinner."

Once again, power and control. We are all guaranteed equality in the United States and the freedom of choice. And
verbal abuse is not something the police can control. It is up to the abused party to take a stand. Seek counseling. If your significant other refuses to cooperate, you may have no other choice but to separate. Certainly if children are involved, the mother must focus on their emotional growth and the consequences of growing up in a household where one parent controls the other instead of working together to resolve differences.

It is this pattern that has permeated around the globe. Children often follow in the footsteps of their parents. Signs that this is happening in your household may show up in school, at home and with playmates and siblings.

We are all given the right to choose. It does not mean you won't have disagreements over certain issues. That is natural. But for one adult to control another is not a disagreement. It is the abusive party taking control of your life. And you must decide: Do I want to live that way?

There are numerous counselors trained in helping couples adjust to normalcy. Yes, it may be difficult to get your partner to go, so your best alternative is to begin with you and your children. The counselor will have private sessions with each of you to determine what therapy will benefit each party involved. Ending the cycle of abuse is necessary to maintain a normal live. If there is enough love between you in good times, the abusive behavior can be adjusted. It is overwhelming to see the number of couples involved in such a pattern. Don't think you are the only one going through this. Commit to counseling. Ask you family doctor for a referral or you can call many of the Domestic Violence Shelters for the names of good, respected professionals who can help you.

You can contact the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence @ or call 203-785-7047. If you allow verbal abuse to continue, things could become much worse.

Please visit my website: I was in an abusive marriage for eighteen years. My book, For Worse Never Better: Diary of An Abused Wife and Escape to Freedom can help you. You can order it @, or both the hard cover/soft cover and Kindle from Amazon.

Author's Bio: 

Penelope Van Buskirk is the author of the book. She was educated @ Fairleigh Dickinson University with a BA in English. She has written for RUNNING TIME MAGAZINE, CAMPERWAYS, IDEALS MAGAZINE, LADYCOM, THE WORCESTER TELEGRAM AND GAZETTE. She created a humor column for THE AUBURN NEWS called "Over Easy" to name a few.

Before she retired, she worked her way up the ranks to become CFO for a CA builder; Corporate Contracts Administrator for American Fence and Security, Inc. in Az; and Corporate Officer of The Mortgage Place in AZ.

She wrote this book to HELP ABUSED WOMEN and currently is a motivational volunteer speaker for CHRYSALIS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER in Phoenix. Fifty percent of all royalties will be donated to CHRYSALIS.