Whenever I hear about a child being physically and/or sexually abused, it breaks my heart. The bruises, burns, and welts are clearly visible to prove the horror inflicted. But the signs of emotional abuse aren’t as easy to see.The pain is just as real, and the scars are just as deep. All of us, specifically those who work with children, should learn the signs of this “invisible” cruelty, and take steps to protect the victim.
What Is Emotional Abuse Of A Child?
- Ignoring and having little or no interaction with child; not calling them by name, and not showing any affection.
- Refusal to meet child’s needs of acceptance, caring, and love.
- Ridiculing or humiliating child, especially in front of peers.
- Teaching bad or illegal behavior, such as stealing, or doing drugs.
- Severely limiting contact with others.
- Making them do chores beyond their capability, and expecting perfection.
- Verbally assaulting child with shaming, belittling, and threats.
- Terrorizing child with threats of physical harm or bullying, to instill fear.
Emotional Child Abuse
Signs of Emotional Abuse:
- withdrawn and quiet
- fearful of trying new activities for fear of failing
- extremes in behavior; very passive or very aggressive
- appears fearful of parents or caregiver
- low self-esteem, or no self-confidence
- excessively shy; doesn’t join in with other children’s activities Child abuse Symptoms
Lasting Effects of Abuse:
- domestic violence
- repeating pattern of abuse with own children
- alcohol and drug use
- mental illness; depression, bi-polar disorder, and anxiety attacks
- lack of trust in others
- feelings of worthlessness and guilt
- thoughts of suicide, or committing suicide.
What is the effect of emotional abuse on children
What You Should Do To Help The Child
All forms of child abuse are against the law. If you suspect a child is being abused, it is your responsibility to report it to Child Protective Services. Don’t hesitate because you feel you are “over-reacting”, or have a fear of retaliation. You can report your suspicions anonymously, and the case worker will ask you questions to determine if the child is in crisis, and an investigation is warranted. Emotional abuse is the first step towards physical abuse. You might be the only chance this child has. Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect