‘If you alter your behaviour because you are frightened of how your partner will react…..

….you are being abused’


The Independent, June 22nd 2018.



‘Emotional abuse is an attack on your personality rather than your body, and it can be just as harmful as physical abuse’


What is Gas Lighting? 


Gas lighting is a term used to describe a form of emotional abuse where one person gradually manipulates another in order to gain control.

It could involve the abuser pretending to misunderstand their victim, or questioning how they remember events. They then dismiss their valid worries as “crazy” or “sensitive” until the person is confused and vulnerable.

Google searches of the word have gradually crept up in recent months, and the tactic is incredibly common according to Penny East, a spokeswoman for the charity SafeLives told The Independent. 

“Abusers manipulate their victims carefully and purposefully; they switch readily between charm and rage, like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Indeed, to an outsider, the perpetrator may appear to be the perfect, caring partner,” Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge told The Independent.

“It is the kind of mental torment used so successfully by torturers and terrorists who know that they can keep their prisoners compliant by frightening them and disorientating them with rapidly changing moods and situations.”

The more a person is filled with doubt, the easier it is to control them.

“Emotional abuse is an attack on your personality rather than your body, and it can be just as harmful as physical abuse, he added.

The process sends the victim into a spiral that starts with disbelief, and can end in depression.

Their self-esteem at rock bottom, they question their thoughts and opinions, and distance themselves from others.

With a skewed perception of reality, they wonder if they are “too sensitive” or “crazy”, apologise more often, and excuse and lie to cover up their abuser’s behaviour.


There is help out there!

If you think you may be experiencing domestic violence:

Visit www.refuge.org.uk for support and information

Call the 24-Hour Freephone National Domestic Violence Helpline, run by Refuge and Women’s Aid, on 0808 2000 247


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