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You are here: Home What is Abuse? Emotional / Verbal Abuse

Emotional Abuse

 

Emotional abuse is a series of destructive behaviour and/or verbal attacks by an adult on a child with the result that the child’s self-esteem is severely damaged. This damage often lasts until adulthood. There are many different ways that emotional abuse manifests itself e.g.
  • Rejecting: not responding to a child's need for love, affection and support.
  • Terrorising: terrifying a child with constant use of threats.
  • Ignoring: not interacting with or responding to the child at all.
  • Isolating: not allowing the child to form normal social contact such as not allowing friends.
  • Exploiting: giving a child adult responsibilities which are greater than children of that age are able to handle such as taking care of a parent.
  • Corrupting: teaching and/or encouraging the child to engage in criminal or anti-social behaviour

No parent is perfect and occasionally they may behave in one of the above ways. It becomes abuse when this is a regular and consistent pattern of treating the child. The psychological damage done to the child is often significant and long-lasting.

Neglect is also considered to be emotional abuse and is the failure of the primary caregivers to provide for the child's basic needs and as a result the child's health, development and safety is threatened. Abandonment and rejection by the caregivers also constitutes neglect. Neglect occurs when parents or caregivers choose not to provide adequately for the child.

 

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You are here: Home What is Abuse? Emotional / Verbal Abuse