Emotional Abuse includes attitudes or behaviors toward a child that create serious emotional or psychological damage, and/or mental anguish. This may include active forms of abuse such as:
- Chronically belittling
- Shouting often at a child
- Harsh jokes at the expense of a child
- Isolating a child
Or passive forms of abuse, which may become a type of neglect, such as:
- Ignoring a child’s need for emotional support and nurturing
- Withholding kindness or affection
- Extended periods of silence
Emotional trauma is a component of most child abuse and is often among its most serious effects and the most difficult to detect. The trauma associated with emotional abuse can affect a child’s physical and mental health long after any physical scars have healed, potentially contributing to a variety of social problems.
If emotional abuse is suspected, you should report it to DSS and law enforcement. For more information on reporting abuse visit our Recognize, Respond, Report page.