Emotional elder abuse takes place when an older person suffers harm through insults, yelling or verbal harassment. It is also referred to as elder psychological abuse. Emotional abuse may be one of the most common forms of elder mistreatment.
Margie Eckroth-Bucher in Devious Damage (Elder Psychological Abuse) states the following-
"Though it leaves no outward scars elder psychological abuse exploits older adults' vulnerabilities through cruel acts of omission or commission.
Psychological abuse is believed to be the most common of all types of elder abuse, with a reported incidence rate of 54.1%. Psychological abuse is the most difficult form of abuse to detect because it lacks clear evidence and concrete assessment criteria. It can occur as the only type of abuse an older adult experiences or in conjunction with other types of abuse.
Psychological abuse wreaks mental anguish by means of threats, humiliation, fear, manipulation or other cruel conduct.
It can be inflicted via verbal or nonverbal communication cues. It is the systematic perpetration of malicious and explicit nonphysical acts against an elder. Examples include harassment, scolding, insults, denigration and stalking. Perpetrators of psychological abuse against older adults often take advantage of elders' vulnerability in ways that control and humiliate.
Threatening an adult with physical punishment or the deprivation of basic needs is a particularly heinous form of this type of abuse. Such actions may include denying or creating long waits for food, money and other basic care. Additional acts are calculated to create an oppressive atmosphere with a stern expression.
Interfering with decision making, false accusations, and controlling the individual's freedom can effectively destabilize the elder and lead to isolation, feelings of low self-esteem, and psychological pain. Psychological abuse can exacerbate clinical depression from which an older adult may already suffer and may aggravate other mental/physical health issues as well."
FORMS- Not all domestic violence is equivalent. Differences in frequency, severity, purpose, and outcome are all significant. Domestic violence can take many forms including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, beating up etc.) or threats thereof, sexual abuse, controlling or domineering, intimidation, stalking, passive/covert abuse and economic deprivation. It can also mean endangerment, criminal coercion, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, trespassing and harassment- Courtesy- WIKIPEDIA
Even treating an adult as a child is belittling and borders on abuse as such a treatment lowers the adult's self esteem.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS PUNISHABLE-