Abuse of any sort is hard to deal with and there is no such thing as one type of abuse being less damaging than another. Beginning with the types of abuses: child, physical, mental, sexual, emotional, psychological, and mental abuse. Verbal abuse, I feel should not be classified as above; it is in every form of abuse described above.
Abuse of any type is aimed at one or more of our five senses as well as the very basic elements of communication essential to mankind. An example.,Sexual abusers aim to devalue their victims sense of touch, sight, hearing and possibly other senses. Mental abusers tend to focus on physical aspects of keeping the person up all night for example and having a rant at them the whole time.
With verbal abuse, the abuser targets a person at the very level of social existence. They are demeaned in every way: be it their physical attributes, character, job, dressing, speech, etc. Victims are often subjected to abuse such as being told they're ugly, have big feet, are cheap, bitches, useless workers, not worth the promotion, dress like sex workers, speak with an accent/ or says words the abuser finds offensive. In addition to this, victims might be in a position where the abuser is confrontational and therefore threatening them physically in terms of physically being too close to them, or backing them up to a corner or using threatening gestures. In abuse situations, victims would feel threatened, demeaned in every possible way as they wonder what could caused this verbal assault or even start to feel they were indeed responsible for what the abuser said they were. Words being a basic form of communication, the victim often continues to feel abused, as in their minds, the abuser's words still continue to ring in their ears. The tone, pitch, and content of what the abuser said in their abuse towards them, is constantly present in everything they do and hear. They are thereby still subjected or living the abuse even way after the abuse took place. This is present in all forms of abuse.