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"Fill your mind with light, happiness, hope, feelings of security and strength, and soon your life will reflect these qualities." ~Unknown

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"The Greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance!" ~Brian Tracy

All post and stories are the sole property of Velvet Over Steel aka Coreen Trost. I write and create post in order to help others, so share as you want. I just ask that you link back or give VOS credit. Some of the stories are going into a book in progress. Thank You ALL.. for your support and help!!
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." ~ John Quincy Adams

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Silencing the Violence of Verbal Abuse

Poster by: Matthew Hafenbrack  @ Creative Haf Design
As heartbreaking as it is to think about, many people (men and women; young and old) experience and suffer from some form of abuse everyday in this world.  Some for many years of their lives unfortunately.  However, I feel that Verbal Emotional Abuse is the most common and has the most lasting scars.  Bones heal, bruises fade, but the negative words spin in our heads over and over again.  Sometimes those Invisible Scars send people into deep depression from verbal abuse.  Keeping them from healing, focusing and moving past the pain.  It's hard to know you are not the cause when you are told over and over that you are. 

Abuse is usually associated with adults in marriages or relationships and between parents and children.   Now a days we see verbal and emotional abuse in not only in homes but also on the playgrounds, in the schools and even in work places.  It is even on the Internet in cyber space, referred to as Cyber Bullying.  The effects of verbal and emotional abuse are much more devastating to children and teens who are already struggling to fit in, make friends and build their self-esteem.

I was first a child watching abuse growing up, which effected my relationships later on; then I was the victum myself in an abusive marriage.  I know in my own experience it took me many years to heal and to get my self-esteem back. However the abuse in front of my children was the most devastating to me. The effects of experiencing or witnessing verbal abuse by children can cause more long-term, psychological damage than physical abuse.  They also could have learned and believed that that is how a woman should be treated  However, they saw the abuse for what it was...  Abuse... and how horribly wrong it was!  

As grown men now, all 3 are incredibly compassionate and protective of woman. They have told me the lessons they learned, which are how not to treat someone and how not to tolerate anyone else they see being abusive. I am so thankful and so proud of them!!!

The poster above was created by my middle son, a graphic designer Creative Haf Design.  He did this as a volunteer project to Stop Verbal Abuse.  He is a very talented and like his brothers, is passionate about speaking up for the protection of women and stopping abuse for both men and women, Silencing the Violence once and for all!  We discussed the role of men in a previous post Until Men say something.... the abuse won't stop.

I am a much stronger and confident person now a days and know that who I am today is partly because of what I went through yesterday.

Even though I have forgiven those who have hurt me and have moved past the pain, I feel I am suppose to write and use my life experiences to help other woman (and men) who have gone through or continue to go through similar experiences.

I truly believe that God uses our life experiences, both good and bad, to learn valuable life lessons, to grow emotionally and spiritually... as well as help others if we so choose. 
"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." ~ Elizabeth Kubler Ross
Poster by: Matthew Hafenbrack @ Creative Haf Design

Below are some good articles on this subject:
Verbal Abuse Definition
Verbal Abuse - The Characteristics
The Verbal Abuse Site with video examples
How Can Someone Identify and Respond to Verbal Abuse?
Exercise to determine verbal abuse from
The Effects of Verbal Abuse on Children
How to Help Children Understand Verbal Abuse

Manipulative People: Covert Aggressive Personality Disorder

More Resources:
National Coalition of Domestic Violence, Resources by State @

National Domestic Violence Hotline @ 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) – A crisis intervention and referral phone line for domestic violence.

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  1. Great post, Coreen.

    That's a wonderful poster. Your son is very talented! :)

  2. That poster is just so perfect! I love it. Pat on the back to all of you! Wow.

  3. Such a beautiful heart-felt post Coreen. I too believe that "sticks and stones can break your bones but words can almost kill you". People think 'words' can be taken back and forgotten... but they can't.

    Wonderful poster.

    Sending you warmest thoughts,
    xo Catherine

  4. Hi, I thought you may have been out-of-town since I haven't heard from you lately... Hope life is good for you....

    I have a good friend who was verbally abused by her husband for many years. She finally got away and got a divorce --with the help of me and others. BUT--it took her a very long time to heal. When someone tells you how horrible you are ---for many, many years, you start to believe it. It's a hard type of abuse.


  5. a great is heartbreaking honestly to see how people treat one another...of course in my positiion i end up picking up the pieces...emotional abuse is one of th most sneaky...

  6. This is a powerful message Coreen...I have a friend who went through verbal abuse for many many years...she has a terrible drinking problem now...she is recovering now, and working on herself everyday.

  7. A great and thought provoking post, verbal abuse can be as bad as phyiscal abuse, it can mentally wear one's self esteem down leaving a person with little or no self confidence,
    Thanks for highlighting this,

  8. It took me years and years to heal from the verbal and emotional abuse. Now I am free..thank the good Lord! But it was a long hard road. Great post and wonderful poster. Such an important message.

  9. You have a very talented son. Words can often inflict more damage than fists.


  10. A very poignant post. I have written about bullying very briefly today in my post but it was very mild compared to other abuse that women are subjected to. I was at the receiving end of mental abuse when Amy was a baby which is why I left her biological father and moved to Northumberland, or perhaps another reason why I did that - the main one being a new life with my Farmer.

    CJ xx

    p.s. I love the poster, very well done.

  11. Coreen, this was beautiful. Your son is very talented, his poster is poignant and so descriptive.

    I'm glad you chose to leave that relationship. Emotional abuse can be subtle and still dangerous and hurtful. Thank you for the reminder.

    ~ that rebel, Olivia

  12. I can only say "WOW" and "Do I hear an AMEN!" Most poignant post, very well written and full of emotion. Wonderful job.
    Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  13. Great post! I love the poster, too!

    What a blessing that your sons were able to recognize the abuse for what it was.

  14. Wow what a post.. I felt so emotional reading your post and it did try to make me think a lot of people in this world and how they react to the society we live in. Great post!

    Have a lovely week!

  15. Great post! We are looking for stories of good things, great organizations and people, and hoping to promote some good causes.
    It's easy, fun, and just might make someone's day a little bit brighter!

  16. this needed to be said and u did it with urgency, so people will take note, zero tolerance against abuse xxx

  17. This is such a needed post. I grew up with it, did not realize til late in life that it was wrong. I am now a new person, will not allow verbal abuse ever again.

  18. I've been mentally abused by different people in my life. I once dated a guy who did it and I remember thinking, "I almost wish he'd hit me, it'd probably hurt less!"

    I love that poster, so perfect!

  19. Well said! And that poster is wonderful!

    I read more and more about the cyber bullying and even Twitter cliques, which are usally a group of women with a high school mentality, at best, who form groups and shun others in an upleasant way. Weird stuff.

    There's no excuse for abuse. Great post!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, btw. I'm glad you stopped by:)

  20. Coreen. *hugs* Let me tell you just how much I appreciate you finding my blog because I've found yours. I hope you don't mind that I posted that quote from Elizabeth Kubler Ross on my Facebook, because I strongly believe that--especially when the person has the strongest desire to stop the chain of abuse with him/her.

    My dad was verbally abused (along with other abuses) by his mother. Oh, she was a cruel one (but she had a horrible life of her own, too). I came across a picture of him when he was only 3 years old and I bawled and bawled over his lost innocence. It really pains me that behind every mean monster was an innocent child.

    Regarding the quote by Elizabeth, I have the urge to say this and I believe this with all of my heart: I know that God blesses the abusive generations of families with a special spirit who will learn from the mistakes and stop it right there.

    I, too, was abused verbally (along with other abuses, too). Thus, my sharp passion for children. I really love them.

    I love the poster your son made. It's impressive! It looks like he used pastels, right? ;)

    You have a friend in me! I'd love to get to know you much better! <3 elizabethmueller6ATgmailDOTcom

  21. Facebooked! And thanks for dropping by toemail!

  22. Most of us are scarred deeply in our youth (middle school in particular)when other kids say the most horrific things. It's awful how those words stick with you through your life. I think it is a time in our lives when we are really damaged by our experiences and nobody really addresses that. Add to that all the internet exposure too. Ugh. I'm glad I'm not in school anymore.

  23. Such a powerful post. Wonderful poster too!

  24. Looks like your boys are certainly people to be very proud of (and talented, too)! It's wonderful a light is being shined on verbal abuse, for all too long, particularly in my parents generation, few acknowledged the devastating effects this insiduous type of violence (and it IS violence) wreaks. I grew up in an abusive home, mainly the abuse was aimed at my menatally fragile mother. It led to her suicide. You are a survivor, and a shining example of someone who has turned a terrible negative in her life into a positive way forward. Huge cudos to you.

  25. I'm very passionate about this topic. Verbal abuse is just as scarring as physcial, if not more so.

  26. Hi Coreen. This is such an important topic- how often we overlook verbal abuse as being serious because of the lack of visable bruises and scars. What a blessing that God is using your experiences to inspire and encourage other women facing this.

    Thank you for visiting Saved by Grace and for your comment! Nice to meet you!


  27. I wish I had a penny for every time I heard my father tell my mother she was stupid...and I wish I had a penny for every time I wanted to make his nose bleed...and bleed...and bleed. It hurt so bad.

  28. A very moving post and unfortunately one that would still hit close to home for many women. The saddest part is that even if we took care of our problems here - there are still cultures like the Taliban that commit truly demonic offenses against women...our work may never be done.

  29. I so agree, Namzola! It is overwhelming sad... we have to start somewhere though.

    Thank you ALL for your Comments, Concern, Awareness and mostly for your lovely Caring Hearts! All of you give us Hope and Courage to overcome adversities, push forward, HEAL and teach the next generation 'right from wrong'! I Love you ALL! ~ Coreen

  30. I agree totally. My father thought verbal abuse was appropriately used in teaching children. He did not understand the damaging affect it had on me. It has taken many, many years for me to overcome this, but now if someone becomes abusive in my presence I am able to tell them I do not accept abuse. Then they either stop because they did not realize they were being abusive or I remove myself from their presence.
    Thank you for teaching such valuable lessons!

  31. Coreen,The statement about negative words spin in our heads over and over again, so true! ..Seems we can over most everything, but verbal abuse, seems to always rear it's ugly head, we can't forget the mean,cruel words(from people we thought was our friends) (or family members).

    Thank you for sharing, you are an amazing lady, and your words have helped me and so many others.


  32. Coreen - I know this was hard for you - abuse is never easy to talk about it - even harder to deal with and heal - and while you can heal - the scars always remain - as a reminder to never forget. sandie

  33. Your post is bound to help someone,abuse of anykind should never be tolerated by anyone! Thank you for sharing this message. I am following your blog, you are welcome to follow mine as well. Blessings jane

  34. That poster is really interesting, Coreen!

  35. Hello Corleen, Your son put a lot of thought into that Poster "Silence Abuse." I pray many see it and realise the implications and means.
    I don't think all abusers realise what they are doing. They need to see and hear how ugly they are for it to hit home. To them, they are right and they feel they have the right to use their mouth. I myself suffered over 30yrs of this from a self righeous man who thought himself and all his values perfect.(He was a different nationality to me and looked down on everything Australian).
    Becoming a better person and not allowing the inflictions to make you bitter, is when you become a winner. God Bless You heaps.

  36. You have such a beautiful heart sweetie and it shines through your writing. My Dad was a verbal abuser(a story I will not approach as long as my Mother is livin') and I fear my daughter who is married to a very controllin' fella is quite capable of more.

    Your voice speaks to many sweetie.

    God bless you and have a beautiful day in God's love!!!

    God bless and

  37. I agree with you about emotional and verbal abuse.

    It's the most damaging and it does go on longer because often time the person abused get brainwashed into staying and also they feel, they aren't being hit, so it's not that bad. Before they know it, they are a shell of themselves.

    I see people going through this and it pains my heart.

    I'm glad you've come so far and so strong and I do agree that when we experience certain things, no matter how horrifying, it can help someone else, because we can be their voice, their shoulder, their light to know they can make it too.

    Thanks for sharing you.


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