(Note: In all of my posts I use "he" for abuser and "she" for victim for simplicity and because, in the majority of cases, the abuser is male. But it can be the opposite with a female abuser. Dynamics of abuse can also happen in same sex relationships.)
Domestic Abuse Misconception #2: If it isn't physical, it isn't abuse. This may be one of the most common ideas out there. There are professionals who believe it. There are friends and family who believe it. There are victims themselves who believe it.
The truth is that abuse doesn't have to be physical to be abuse. In fact, physical abuse is just one way, one way an abuser maintains control over his victim. There can be financial abuse, sexual abuse and, yes, even spiritual abuse. And the common thread through all of them will be emotional abuse. Because you can't reduce your intimate partner to your possession to be ruled and controlled and manipulated without intense emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse is massively damaging, more so even than physical abuse, Family and friends may not see it. The victim herself may not see it. There is no reason to call the police. No reason to visit the emergency room. No visible evidence of the destruction being done to her very being.
Emotional abuse is often called "crazymaking," because the back and forth and mixed messages and gaslighting all go hand in hand to keep the victim walking on eggshells and doubting her own sanity. In fact, most victims of emotional abuse wish that there were some physical abuse so that they would have a tangible reason for their pain. More women attempt suicide to escape emotional abuse because there seems so little hope for another way out.
This link talks about the various forms of abuse and at the bottom is a chart and each tab will bring up examples of that kind of abuse. Take a look. You might be surprised.