Words hurt – and lead to further abuse

THINGS ABUSERS SAY – All victims of domestic abuse are aware of more terms used as verbal abuse than one could possibly count.  

My goal here is to reach out to current victims of domestic violence, especially those who may not think or recognize they truly are victims of domestic violence. Potentially, the most ironic part of all this is that with little variation or exception, all abusers say the same thing, use the same terminology, and make the same manner of verbal (and emotional) attacks. Here is a list of things abusers say. How many can you check off that have been or are being said to you?






Who will want you?

Look at me when I talk to you!

Don’t make me have to hurt you!

It’s all your fault!

You drive me to drink (or drugs, or other women. . .)

Keep your mouth shut about this.

You’ll never see your kids again!

You can’t afford to leave.

You don’t have any money. How will you make it out there?

You had it coming to you.

If you hadn’t run your mouth . . .

If you leave, I’ll find you and you think it’s bad now?

If I can’t have you, then nobody else will either.

Call the cops and I’ll kill you.

I’ll kill myself if you leave.

Don’t forget I have a gun.

I’m so sorry. I’ll never hit (or hurt) you again.

Remember my friends in high places (church, police, attorneys, doctors, court, government) will be there for me, not you!

And then there is the dilemma we must confront, “I can’t afford an attorney.” 

How many of these fit your current life circumstances? More than one or two? With each statement you checked, the chances of you being a victim of domestic violence are greater. The more check marks you make, the greater danger you are probably confronting (or are about to). These are just a few of the things abusers say. I’m sure you could add many more. If you have broken free from the abusive relationship, the things abusers say may still haunt you. You can shed the victim mentality.

Think seriously about your conditions and safety, and those of your children, if you have any involved. Things abusers say most often lead to things abusers do. It all starts with words—it all starts with things abusers say. Don’t let it end in a grave.

NOTE: If you have reason to believe you are a victim of domestic violence or abuse, please go to our VICTIM SUPPORT PAGE and get help. It is out there for you. If you live in the Tampa area, need to see a lawyer but have no funds available, I strongly suggest you contact R-U Safe, Inc. Their contact information is on the page. They have a large number of attorneys who volunteer time to help keep victims of domestic violence safe. Tell them Carolyn Hennecy sent you!


  1. Claire Cappetta says:

    The list brought back so many memories! Especially when the police told me “Leave the county and soon, he’s going to kill you!”, turned out the day I left, he was coming back to my house with a gun, I escaped with 15 minutes to spare. I look at your list and every single phrase was said, spitted, shouted and bludgeoned into me. You can however find peace and I thank you for making lists like this to make people aware.

    • Carolyn S. Hennecy says:

      Thank you, Claire, from the bottom of my heart. I consider us “sisters” in the cause. God bless you. As we share our truths to victims, perhaps they, too, will see there is hope, and a way to safety, security, empowerment and restoration of a life worth living!

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