Have you ever had someone insult you?
Maybe you were called a bitch, a slut, a whore? Perhaps it was a one-time thing uttered by a stranger and the words stung a little bit but you never heard it again.
But maybe it wasn’t said by a stranger, maybe it was said by someone close to you, someone you believe. Perhaps you were called a bitch, a slut, a whore. Perhaps you were told you were worth less than other people? Maybe you were belittled and made to feel as though you were constantly doing something wrong?
Many people don’t realize that verbal abuse is still abuse; that words are not meaningless. Each word, each syllable has meaning and has the power and ability to affect another human being, another person’s life. Words are used as weapons, as tools to inflict pain, to harm others. Words are used to reduce people to less than they are. Words are used to convince people that their lives will never be better. Words are used to convince people to stay with people in situations or places that they have a right to life free of, this is done by either convincing them that everything they believe is wrong (no person will love you, take care of you, believe you) or that they don’t deserve better.
KAFA, a Lebanese organization, discovered that 50% of Lebanese women are victims of verbal abuse (statistically are not-surprisingly lacking for most nations) and they sought to show that words hurt and that verbal abuse is a devastating and harmful form of abuse.
The photos are extremely powerful and extremely triggering, so if you feel safe enough to check them out, please do so here; this also links to a Lebanese helpline for victims of abuse.
To find an agency in your country and/or language of choice offering support for victims of domestic abuse and verbal abuse click here.