I would say we must (and the law does) distinguish between offenses based on nuanced gradations. I think it is dangerous to lump everything in one pot and treat it as equally offensive. We don't punish based on "generally speaking," and we shouldn't. It's a tricky and not simple subject. There are many factors that go into these definitions and that result in different degrees of culpability. What was the intent? What was the circumstance? What was the relationship? What were the words? The list goes on. There is verbal abuse that, while not something to praise, does not rise to the level of actionable conduct. (E.g., I yelled at an umpire who makes a bad call. He heard me.) You think yelling at a person in front of colleagues because they lost some important document is worse than yelling in private about something truly humiliating that leaves the person devastated (and yes scarred)? My point is that we practice injustice when we punish without asking a lot of questions, and also without providing clear lines distinguishing between things.