Emotional abuse is the ongoing emotional maltreatment of a child. It’s sometimes called psychological abuse and can seriously damage a child’s emotional health and development.
Emotional abuse can involve deliberately trying to scare or humiliate a child or isolating or ignoring them.
Children who are emotionally abused are often suffering another type of abuse or neglect at the same time – but this isn’t always the case.
Developing healthy brains
Every child needs loving, nurturing care from the adults around them if they are to develop the healthy brains they need to be able to thrive and this is even more important in the first few years of life. The toxic stress that emotional abuse causes means that a child's healthy brain development can be impaired.
The good news is our brains aren't fully formed until around the age of 25, so there are opportunities to help young people develop the skills they need and to overcome the impact of earlier toxic stress.
Watch this short film to find out more about the impact toxic stress can have on a child’s healthy brain development