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What are some examples of emotional child abuse?

 

A:

When child abuse comes in the form of a hard slap or forceful shove, it may be easy to determine that a child suffered harm as a result of physical abuse. However, there are other forms of child abuse that are more complex and difficult to identify such as sexual abuse or emotional abuse. While all types of child abuse will have serious emotional effects on a child, there are things you should know about emotional child abuse.

When children are the subjects of emotional abuse, they may suffer life-long damage. Sadly, a child may have psychological scars, social issues, or mental health damage as a result of the emotional abuse he or she endured.

Common Indicators of Emotional Abuse

Some indicators that an adult could be subjecting a child to emotional abuse includes frequent behavior like this:

  • Calling a child names and negatively labeling a child as “bad,” “stupid,” or “worthless.”
  • Shaming, belittling, and humiliating a child in public.
  • Publically threatening a child with harm.
  • Yelling and bullying a child.
  • Ignoring a child.
  • Exposing a child to physical harm and the abuse of others.

Just because a child isn’t enduring physical abuse or sexual abuse doesn’t mean that emotional abuse isn’t a serious issue. Even though sticks and stones can break your bones, words can still hurt deeply. In fact, name calling and emotional abuse can leave lifelong emotional scars.

If you believe your child has been the victim of emotional abuse in a Sarasota school, church, or organization like the Boy Scouts or YMCA, you should request a free copy of our book, When the Unthinkable Happens: Your Guide to Florida Child Abuse Claims.