Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child. It is sometimes called psychological abuse and can seriously damage a child’s mental health and wellbeing.
Emotional abuse can take different forms. For example:
- When a child is unfairly blamed for everything, told they are stupid, worthless or ugly and made to feel very sad and unhappy.
- Not letting a child express their views, deliberating silencing them or mocking what they say or how they communicate.
- When inappropriate expectations are imposed on them, having their capacity to learn restricted, or being prevented from normal social interaction.
Emotional abuse can have long-lasting and devastating effects on a child’s emotional health and development. Children and young people who are emotionally abused may also be the victims of other types of abuse, such as physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.