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Emotional Abuse

Screaming STOP THE ABUSE Found on the netSandra On October - 5 - 2009

 

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EMOTIONAL CHILD ABUSE

Emotional child abuse involves behavior that interferes with a child’s mental health or social development: one website calls it “the systematic tearing down of another human being.” Such abuse can range from verbal insults to acts of terror, and it’s almost always a factor in the other three categories of abuse. While emotional abuse by itself doesn’t involve the infliction of physical pain or inappropriate physical contact, it can have more long-lasting negative psychological effects than either physical abuse or sexual abuse.
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VERBAL & EMOTIONAL ABUSE SIGNS:

  • Boys
  • » aggression
  • » temper tantrums
  • » fights with peers and siblings
  • » bullying tactics
  • » frustrates easily
  • » disobedience
  • » lying and cheating
  • » destructive behaviours
  • » impulsive behaviours
  • » argumentative
  • » loud
  • » tease excessively
  • » worry excessively
  • » withdrawn

Girls

  • » passive
  • » approval-seeking
  • » compliant
  • » frustrates easily
  • » infinite patience
  • » clinging to adults
  • » overly dependent
  • » stubborn
  • » tease excessively
  • » worry excessively
  • » somatic complain
  • >withdrawn
  • Emotional abuse is a pattern of behavior that attacks a child’s emotional development and sense of self-worth. Emotional abuse includes excessive, aggressive or unreasonable demands that place expectations on a child beyond his or her capacity. Constant criticizing, belittling, insulting, rejecting and teasing are some of the forms these verbal attacks can take. Emotional abuse also includes failure to provide the psychological nurturing necessary for a child’s psychological growth and development — providing no love, support or guidance (National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse, 1987).

INDICATORS

  • child rocks, sucks, bites self
  • inappropriately aggressive,
  • destructive to others
  • suffers from sleep, speech disorders
  • restricts play activities or experiences
  • demonstrates compulsions, obsessions, phobias, hysterical outbursts
  • negative statements about self
  • shy, passive, compliant
  • lags in physical, mental and emotional development
  • self destructive behavior
  • highly aggressive
  • cruel to others
  • overly demanding

Examples of emotional child abuse include:

Verbal abuse Belittling or shaming the child: name-calling, making negative comparisons to others, telling the child he or she is “no good,” “worthless,” “a mistake.”
Habitual blaming: telling the child that everything is his or her fault.
Withholding affection Ignoring or disregarding the child
Lack of affection and warmth: Failure to hug, praise, express love for the child
Extreme punishment These are actions that are meant to isolate and terrorize a child, such as tying the child to a fixture or piece of furniture or locking a child in a closet or dark room.
Corruption
This involves causing a child to witness or participate in inappropriate behaviour, such as criminal activities, drug or alcohol abuse, or acts of violence.

Emotional abuse can come not only from adults but from other children: siblings, neighborhood or schoolyard bullies, peers in schools that permit a culture of social ostracism (the “mean girl” syndrome). The signs of emotional child abuse include apathy, depression, and hostility. If it happens at school, the child may be reluctant to go to school and develop or fake a physical complaint.

SOURCE: http://brama-sole.co.nz/info/child-abuse/

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Identification of Emotional Abuse

The following includes the definition of emotional abuse and information to help identify the signs and symptoms:

Assessing Emotional Neglect in Infantsexternal link (PDF – 340 KB)
Wotherspoon & Gough (2008)
Describes the importance of recognizing and assessing emotional neglect in young children who are not yet able to talk.

Child Psychological Maltreatment
Barnett, Miller-Perrin, & Perrin (2nd ed.) (2005)
In Family Violence Across the Lifespan: An Introduction
View Abstract
Considers the dynamics of psychological maltreatment and describes current knowledge about the risk factors, negative effects, and intervention strategies associated with this form of abuse.

Emotional Abuseexternal link
American Humane
Includes information on identifying and preventing emotional abuse and what you can do.

Introduction to Emotional Abuse and Neglectexternal link (PDF – 482 KB)
Iwaniec (2006)
In The Emotionally Abused and Neglected Child: Identification, Assessment and Intervention: A Practice Handbook (2nd ed.)
Reviews the history of the concept of emotional abuse and neglect, early research studies, and related terminology. The chapter further provides sample case studies and consequences of emotional abuse.

SOURCE: http://www.childwelfare.gov/can/identifying/emotional_abuse.cfm

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EMOTIONAL CHILD ABUSE

1 Response

  1. Victoria Richardson Says:

    I would like to of service in this cause in any way I can. I too suffered emotional abuse
    by a stepmother after kmy own Mom died when I was four years old, and still can be subjected to it by the abuser. It has taken me a lifetime to deal with it and even though I have tried to overcome those feelings of low self esteme and no self esteme , I accept that it may be impossible in this lifetime. All areas of my life have been affected & I have spent a fortune to get help.

    Let me know what I can contribute.

    Posted on July 4th, 2010 at 9:23 pm

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