Emotional Abuse

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Mary is a seven year old girl in first grade. She seems to be a normal little girl on the outside. She wants to play on a swing that another boy has already taken, so Mary orders the child to get off of it. But when he does not, she pulls the child's leg and he falls onto the ground crying. The teacher comes running over… The signs of emotional abuse are difficult to diagnose. Since physical marks do not exist when a child is experiencing emotional maltreatment, a way to tell is by their actions (www.americanhumane.org). Children suffering from emotional abuse are subject to destructive behaviors. As a result of parental substance abuse, the excessive use of drugs or alcohol, children who are exposed to these situations are more likely to abuse substances in the same manner. Substance abuse becomes common for children who are abused (www.childprotect.org). A child may see their parents or caregivers abusing drugs or drinking alcohol, leading them to believe those are ways to deal with their daily problems such as stress or work related issues. Studies show that approximately four out of ten cases of child maltreatment involve substance abuse (www.nccanchaf.hhs.gov). Alcohol and drugs are the only ways out of misery for children who are told everyday by people whom are supposed to love them that they are worthless. Affection and attention are things children need. They definitely do not receive them when the only interaction with a parent is being told that they were a "mistake." Consequently, a child may act out to get attention elsewhere. Talking out of turn, disrupting the classroom, or rebelling against superiors are indications of a child experiencing emotional abuse. A sign of emotional mistreatment also includes children who demonstrate delinquent behavior like animal cruelty, stealing, and starting fires (www.americanhumane.com). These kinds of disorderly and criminal behaviors are common when a child is a victim of emotional abuse. When...
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