Domestic abuse is not always visible. Verbal and emotional abuse does not leave bruises and scars that can be seen. Those bruises and scars are still there.
There is a far greater incidence of verbal and emotional abuse opposed to physical abuse. The punches make a better news story. Unless witnessed by others, verbal and/or emotional abuse is often ignored by society. The opinion seems to be that if a woman was emotionally or mentally stronger, this wouldn't happen to her.
Any woman who has survived this type of abuse will attest that strength of any sort has nothing to do with it. Even the strongest among us will break under constant derision, name-calling, and hate. Even the strongest spirit will bend under unceasing winds of anger.
Only removing yourself from such a situation allows you to rebuild your strength. The love of family and friends rebuilds the spirit and you eventually rediscover you. That is an incredible feeling of peace and joy. Getting there does require forgiveness...not for the benefit of the offender, but for your own peace. However, forgiveness does not mean forgetfulness. It is still up to you to guard your heart and your spirit to prevent any recurrence. Again, with love and support, you can do just that.
Remember, not all abuse is on the outside. If you see a woman being degraded, yelled at, or called names...step up and say something. She may not be ready to hear it; but when she is, she will remember your love and support.