(SF Examiner, Andrew Vachss) "Emotional abuse is the systematic diminishment of another. It may be intended or subconscious (or both), but it is always a course of conduct, not a single event. It is designed to reduce a child's self concept to the point where the victim considers him/herself unworthy- unworthy of respect, unworthy of friendship, unworthy of the natural birthright of all children; love and protection." "Emotional abuse can be a deadly as a gunshot-"You're fat, You're stupid, You're ugly". "Emotional abuse can be active, vicious belittling-"You'll never be the success your brother was." Or deliberate humiliation- " Your so stupid, I'm ashamed you are my son". It can also be passive, the emotional equivalent of child neglect- a sin of omission, true, but no less destructive."

"We must renounce the lie that emotional abuse prepares children for a hard life in a tough world. I've met some people who were prepared for a hard life that way- I met them while they were doing life."

"Victims of emotional abuse carry the cure in their own hearts and souls. Salvation means learning self respect, earning the respect of others and making that respect the absolutely irreducible minimum requirement of all intimate relationships."

Next time you talk to your spouse or children, be sure to think ahead. Emotional abuse leaves scarring in the same way physical abuse does. I know.