How To Realistically Write About Abuse

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#42

Okay, I’m gonna go with when she was dating the dad she pretended to be nice!


#43

Cool let me know how the videos are and I’ll copy and paste the scripts and DM you. Tweak it any way that suits you or hopefully it may give you some ideas to work with :slight_smile: I can’t be much help because I’ll be working a lot this week and trying to work on some of my stories :smiley: Good luck!


#44

Thanks!


#45

Also, scene 3. Should it be the first time the stepmother abused Alice?


#46

Maybe, and possibly have why the father isn’t around or notices? Or is Alice not telling him?


#47

The father is always working.


#48

oooh okay gotcha. Yeah maybe start with verbal abuse that sounds like innocent teasing and increase it little by little? It could build up tension


#49

How so?

(Sorry never made a story like this before)


#50

I’m not sure honestly, I haven’t either :confused: Maybe change your topic title to “How to realistically write about abuse?” You might get some responses from people who’ve personally dealt with it.


#51

I do have one idea, not sure about it though.


#52

Edit your first post and list the general plot and the ideas you have so far.
Hopefully you’ll get more responses :slight_smile:


#53

This is such an ambiguous question… :thinking: What kind of abuse are you trying to write about?


#54

Verbal, Emotional & Physical.


#55

Could I tell you my idea and see what you think?


#56

Hmm… Well, first you should always put a warning at beginning of your story, listing the sensitive topics your story will contain, in case anyone might be upset by those kinds of themes. Also, include helpful numbers and websites/organizations which can help someone who is being abused. And this is very important if you’re writing about abuse, try to educate your readers on how to recognize it. Some readers could be experiencing it and be mostly oblivious to it.

Now, it’s important to know that verbal abuse doesn’t only mean abuse through speech (with words which are bluntly harsh and offensive and made to humiliate and demean the person being abused). Body language is the first language we learn and certain cues and “words” can be very clearly communicated with body language. Say, if the abuser makes long eye-contact with the person they’re abusing while moving their thumb horizontally across their neck, the person being abused will reasonably interpret it as a threat. The “words” that gesture speaks are loud and clear. So not only you can make the abuser blatantly insult and demean the abusee, but you can describe some of those gestures through narration. For example, if your characters are outside with people passing by all around and the abuser thinks the abusee is doing something that they shouldn’t be doing, they could make a sneaky, threatening gesture to scare and control the abusee. This could even be a gesture that only the abuser and abusee know about (a “secret sign” if you will), because the abuser wants to be sneaky in public while still be able to communicate with the abusee in a threatening manner. Even the “silent treatment” can be considered verbal abuse in a certain context. It can translate to “you don’t even exist” or “you don’t deserve to be acknowledged”.

A victim of verbal and emotional abuse often doesn’t fully realize that they’re being abused. No matter how smart and resourceful they are. Many will believe that everything that’s happening to them is their own fault and that they must be crazy for thinking that the abuser they love so much/have known for so long could possibly have such bad intentions. However, you also have victims of abuse who know very well how toxic the situation they’re in actually is but don’t make any attempts to escape for fear of the abuser hurting them (physically, through blackmailing, etc) or that they have no one out there to turn to and receive urgent help from (usually because the abuser isolated them from their families and friends). And sometimes it’s both. It really depends on each case, so I advise you do your research and maybe find interviews and articles about victims of abuse telling their stories about what it was like living this way and how they got out of that situation. They’re inspiring in more ways than one.

Here’s some of the countless phrases someone who’s verbally abusive would likely say, aside from straight up insults:

  • I can’t believe I’m giving so much to someone as useless as you.
  • Let me do it. Only people like me can do it right.
  • You think that’s enough? You should know how to please me by now.
  • Stop crying or I will give you a real reason to cry!

And if you call them out on it, they’ll do everything to manipulate you into thinking you’re in the wrong:

  • Aw, what? Can’t you take a joke?
  • Look at that, here’s your paranoid side speaking again.
  • Can’t you see everything I do here is for you?! And this is how you repay me?!
  • How could you think something like that of me?

Verbal and emotional abuse are closely linked and they include yelling, swearing, threatening, isolating, excluding, ignoring, mocking… And abusers will sometimes compliment you and shower you with gifts just enough to keep you by their side.

I know less about physical abuse, but it’s a lot more straightforward I believe. So I think you should do your own research (here’s one link to start with) while seeing what other people on this thread tell you.

Phew! This post is getting pretty long and I still don’t know what you’re looking for exactly so I’ll stop here for now. Anyway, I’m by no means an expert and I don’t want to get too serious, but I experienced different types of abuse in my life, particularly in a relationship I got out of some time ago. So I’m kind of speaking from my own experience. Other survivors certainly might have different experiences. If you have any questions about verbal and emotional abuse and want some ideas on how to portray them in your story, especially within a romantic relationship, please don’t hesitate to ask through PM, I’d be happy to help :slightly_smiling_face:


#57

Here’s this for anyone else who needs help with putting a warning on their stories :slightly_smiling_face: :


#58

Hello?


#59

To be honest with you, as someone who’s been through abuse (ex boyfriend), I would say that it’s much more important and respectful to look into the psychology of abuse victims and get that right. The plot side of things is just going to come across as offensive if you don’t look into the psychology and portray a positive message from it all.


#61

@ShanniiWrites and @AllyJay great and insightful advice! @Alishia_Episode ya sure and maybe ask the other two since they’ve had real experience with it.


#62

My idea is, the stepmother makes her wear ugly clothes and tie up her hair.