This New Dawn

Laurel Hall Author and PoetEmotional abuse is one of the cruelest kinds of abuse.  It leaves no bloody wounds, bruises, or broken bones, but it does leave hidden scars that are difficult to heal.  It affects every aspect of a child’s health.  One website, Be Free, stated “Emotional abuse is the core of all forms of abuse, and the long term effects of child abuse and neglect is a result of the emotional aspects of abuse. In fact, it is the psychological aspect of most abusive behaviors that defines them as abusive”. 

     Emotional abuse can be verbal; denying affection; severe punishment; parents being poor role models, and bullying.   Examples of verbal emotional abuse includes shouting at a child, calling him names like stupid, belittling comments, and anything that makes a child feel bad about himself. 

      Purposely ignoring a child, refusing to give hugs or not expressing love in any way makes a child feel unwanted and unloved is an agonizing form of emotional abuse no child should suffer.

       Constantly yelling or screaming at a child, threatening him, locking him in a dark closet or cage are emotionally abusive methods of punishment.  Discipline should include teaching the child between right and wrong.  Taking away TV time, toys, time out, and the like are acceptable forms of discipline.   Disciplining has to do with teaching a child acceptable behaviors, to learn the difference between right and wrong, to respect the rights of others.  The goal should be to develop a child who feels secure and loved, self-confident, self-disciplined and knows how to control his impulses.

     Parents are role models to their children.  They need to protect them from anything that is harmful including emotionally harmful.  Allowing or making a child watch violent TV shows because that’s what the parents want to watch, seeing adults in a drunken state, observing their parents physically fight or verbally abuse each other are other examples of emotional abuse. 

     Siblings can also be emotionally abusive to each other by calling them names or making fun of them.  In the school setting emotional abuse can come from a bully. 

     Consequences of emotional abuse include low self-esteem, depression, panic attacks, nightmares, not wanting to go to school, and personality.  As children grow older they can become involved in drugs or alcohol, have problems with school work, i.e. not wanting to learn, eating disorders such as anorexia, and more.  They may also become abusive to other children.

     How does one know if a child is being or has been emotionally abused? 

Look at the manner in which the child behaves.  Is he afraid, shy, extremely passive or extremely aggressive, withdrawn, solitary, or lack of attachment to parents?  These may all be signs of an emotionally abuse child.

For more information on emotional abuse visit Emotional Abuse in Children: Warning Signs and How to Help   Yahoo Voices @


Caring for victims,

Laurel Hall