How to Recognize Emotional Abuse


Rayne Thompson, Staff

When we think of child abuse, we think of bruises and scars. However, there are so many different forms of abuse children across the globe experience. What are these and how do we recognize them?

Emotional abuse is something neglected severely, but it is just as serious and scarring as physical abuse. describes emotional abuse as abuse that can link to verbal abuse and mental abuse. It can include degrading, patronizing, yelling, etc. It can have horrible effects, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, non-communitive behavior, and more. Going through emotional abuse is horrible and will alter the life of the victim. Especially considering treatment or investigation is hardly undergone for the victim.

So, how do we recognize and prevent it?

To recognize any type of abuse in a classmate, recommends looking for:

  • Withdrawal from friends or activity.
  • Changes in behavior, such as aggression, hostility, anger, and more.
  • Changes in school performance.
  • Reluctance to go home.
  • Depressive symptoms and states of anxiety or fear.

If you’re able to meet or view the parents or abusers? How can we identify them as abusers of their child/ren? Here are a few signs:

  • Constant belittling of the child.
  • Severely limits the child’s contact with others.
  • High expectations of the child, such as receiving attention, good grades, or firm obedience to the parent.
  • Appears unable to recognize emotional or physical distress with the child
  • Uninterested in the child’s affairs, shows little concern for them.

When a student notices’ a classmates’ mistreatment, what do they do? How do they help them?

“If you see a change in behavior, it’s okay to ask. Let them know you’re here for them,” Guidance counselor Brittany Watkins recommended to students.

Once abuse is reported, it’s up to the adults to report it, however, emotional abuse is a bit more difficult to work with.

“Emotional abuse is hard, it’s hard to prove, or get justice for. We can still support and help them cope, though,” Mrs. Watkins said.

Emotional abuse isn’t always out of evil or malicious intentions sites like state. Rather a struggling parent who tragically finds them taking it out on their child.

“A lot of the time, the parent is under their own stress. We can help them, too,” Mrs. Watkins explained.

Children who don’t receive the help they need can have risk factors, little or minor. That can affect their futures. Including substance abuse, mental illness, financial distress, and underdevelopment.

If you yourself think you are being abused, you have every right to tell someone, whether it be friends, teachers, doctors, or any trusted adult. No child deserves to be abused.

“I just want them to reach out, students shouldn’t have to feel alone or isolated,” Mrs. Watkins said.