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March 2, 2021

In Femtastic's first-ever Spotlight Series, we focus this and the previous episode on bringing awareness to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) or Domestic Violence (DV).  

The months of COVID-associated isolation, fear, and economic anxiety have exacerbated IPV. In today's episode, we focus on emotional abuse, an equally (and as our guest argues, more) damaging type of abuse that can occur in all types of relationships, from romantic to parent-child, to workplace and beyond. 

Today's guest is Beverly Engel, a psychotherapist who specializes in emotional abuse. Beverly details what emotional abuse looks like, how it shows up in all types of relationships (romantic relationships, queer and trans relationships, family relationships, etc.). Focusing mainly on romantic and familial relationships, Beverly discusses the tactics abusers use, the typical "profile" of an abuser, how abusers use shame to control their victims, and the red flags to spot early-on in a relationship that a partner may be emotionally abusive. She also discusses how COVID-19 worsens emotional abuse. Beverly offers resources for those in emotionally abusive relationships and for friends and family who suspect their loved one may be in an emotionally abusive relationship.

Beverly is the author of several books about emotional abuse, including her latest book, Escaping Emotional Abuse. Find links to her other books in the resources below.

Resources from Beverly:

  • For questions, contact Beverly Engel:
  • Beverly's books on Emotional Abuse:
  • Escaping Emotional Abuse
  • The Emotionally Abused Woman
  • Encouragement for the Emotionally Abused Woman
  • Healing Your Emotional Self
  • Beverly's website:  (resources, articles, and blogs about emotional abuse, plus how to contact her for counseling services) 

  • Great source of articles, blogs, and other information on emotional abuse and shame

  • Article recommended by Beverly Engel: How to Leave an Abusive Relationship: 18 Expert Tips by Linda Rodgers 
  • Intimate Partner Violence Resources (all hotlines are confidential):

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline (text LOVEIS to 22522 or call 1-800-799-7233)

  • Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741); free and confidential mental health texting via SMS message. 24 hours a day in US, Canada, UK, and Ireland.

  • The Network/La Red (IPV support for LGBQ/T folks as well as folks in SM/kink and polyamorous communities) 617-742-4911 

  • Assistance with Finding a Domestic Violence Shelter: Call Safe Horizon at 1-800-621-HOPE (4673) 

  • Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-422-4453); 24-hour, confidential hotline with resources to aid in every child abuse situation. Voice, text, and online messaging available.

  • Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project; 800-832-1901 (24-hour emergency hotline)

  • Trans Lifeline US: 77-565-8860; Canada: 877-330-6366; Trans Lifeline’s Hotline is an anonymous peer support phone service run by trans people for our trans and questioning peers. Call us if you need someone trans to talk to, even if you’re not in crisis or if you’re not sure you’re trans. Se habla español.
  • Family & Friends Line provides peer support for friends, partners, family members and professionals supporting trans loved ones and community members. To access this service, call our main hotline and ask for our Family & Friends Line. 

  • How to Identify Abuse (from the National Domestic Violence Hotline)

  • How to Support Others (from the National Domestic Violence Hotline)

  • Hotlines for LGBTQ+ folks (crisis intervention, suicide, IPV, youth and runaway info, HIV/AIDS)
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