How to Document Verbal and Emotional Abuse

how to document verbal abuseProving verbal and emotional abuse is very difficult and keeping good records may help if you case ends up in court. If nothing else, it will help protect your sanity if the abuser starts claiming you are the one with the problems. This is very common where the abuser accuses the victim of the abuse. In fact, there are times when they will actually flip the entire situation to make it sound as if you were the one instigating the problems.

Record any incidents of verbal abuse. Record these events as soon as you are able and be as accurate as possible. You will be surprised how much you forget as time goes by and the journal entries will ensure you have entries to help you remember clearly.

First, Safety First

If you are making plans to leave your abuser, this can be one of the most dangerous times. Do not share this information on Social Media or with anyone other than trusted friends or family.

Keep a Journal

It is a good idea to keep a journal of your relationship. First, these documents may just help you realize that you are stuck in a pattern of abuse and help you accept that he/she is not going to change. Second, keeping good documents can be useful in case you ever end up going to court. Keep in mind, if the abuser is telling stories that are untrue, it can be very difficult for them to keep their facts straight.

Create a Free Email Account

If you are worried your abuser might read the journal, you can create a (Hotmail, Google, or Yahoo) email address and send yourself emails. Just remember to go back and delete the sent email and them empty your trash. You can also forward any emails from the abuser straight to this mailbox. The nice thing about emails is they will include a time and date stamp on every email.

It might be a good idea to save these to a secure file sharing storage like, or iCloud. If you are in a safe place, you can print out these emails and store them in a binder for safekeeping.

Create a Blog or Journal

You can also create a WordPress blog for free or buy one at Godaddy. This blog can also be set to require a password to access the website. This will also allow you to record you stories and save them and each post will include a timeline. Just be sure to back up the blog to a storage sharing or allow Godaddy to auto back-up your blog. You can also sign up for an free online journal to document all incidents.

Use a Voice Activated Recorder

Another thing you can do is keep a voice activated recorder and record any exchanges and then store them on your computer or an online file sharing storage. You can use a voice activated recorder and set your phone to speaker in order to record the entire call. These can be very inexpensive and start around $29 per recorder. Although they are a little pricey, they have recorders that look like pens, and you can even write with these too!

Save Text Messages

You can either print or get screenshots of text messages and store these in the online file sharing storage. Although, keep in mind, saving text messages can be more challenging. If at all possible, consider blocking them and making the abuser email you instead.

Keep in mind that your Social Media accounts can be used against you. Also, be sure to create difficult passwords and if possible memorize these passwords and change them frequently.

If you have any other thoughts, please feel free to share them in the comments.


One thought on “How to Document Verbal and Emotional Abuse

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  1. I wish there had been an article for me to read about how to prove my nonphysical abuse to a judge a few years ago when I tried to get a restraining order against my ex. Then again, I had with me pages upon pages of emails, police reports, and phone records of my ex harassing me in the past but the judge didn’t believe it was enough “extreme” proof to grant my request. Talk about a let down; try to do the right thing in California and the law won’t help you unless you’re ARE physically harmed or dead. But I do agree: keep records of the encounters with the abuser. It may actually help someone out some day.


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