By Sandy M. Fernandez
In one study, 77 percent of college women copped to being, or having been, in an abusive relationship. Experts don't have a single, set definition for emotional or psychological abuse, but it's generally described as any behavior-short of physical violence-used to manipulate, degrade, humiliate, or punish another person. This can be extreme Lifetime movie stuff: threats, stalking, vandalism, phone or email monitoring. But, just as often, it can be more subtle: overreactions that keep you walking on eggshells, underhanded compliments, barbed advice that's allegedly for your own good, even offers to "help" by managing your money, career, or relationships with others.
Most of these relationships won't escalate to physical violence. But some will and it's difficult to tell until it's too late. The best thing you can do for yourself-or for a friend you suspect might be in such a situation-is to know the warning signs. Here are four actions you might be