While the manifestations of physical abuse is clear and visible, another form of abuse is equally dangerous– emotional abuse. Subtle and invisible, emotional abuse is common in relationships between friends, siblings, parents and children, spouses, and co-workers.
The act of emotional abuse is one that “controls, intimidates, subjugates, demeans, punishes, or isolates another person.” This form of abuse can be easily brushed off by individuals surrounding the victim because it does not leave bruises or physical wounds. However, this causes degradation, humiliation, or fear for its victims. Examples include “yelling, screaming, and name-calling” but also “refusing to be pleased with anything, isolating an individual from family and friends, and invalidating another’s thoughts and feelings.” (Read: Prayer for Victims of Abuse)
If you know someone suffering from emotional abuse, here is a powerful prayer to help them heal.
Prayer for Healing Victims of Abuse
God of endless love,
ever caring, ever strong,
always present, always just:
You gave your only Son
to save us by the blood of his cross.
Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace,
join to your own suffering
the pain of all who have been hurt
in body, mind, and spirit
by those who betrayed the trust placed in them.
Hear the cries of our brothers and sisters
who have been gravely harmed,
and the cries of those who love them.
Soothe their restless hearts with hope,
steady their shaken spirits with faith.
Grant them justice for their cause,
enlightened by your truth.
Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts,
heal your people’s wounds
and transform brokenness into wholeness.
Grant us the courage and wisdom,
humility and grace, to act with justice.
Breathe wisdom into our prayers and labors.
Grant that all harmed by abuse may find peace in justice.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer from tUnited States Conference of Catholic Bishops.