Child neglect and emotional abuse

Definition

Neglect and emotional abuse can cause a child a lot of harm. It is often hard to see or prove this kind of abuse, so other people are less likely to help the child. When a child is being physically or sexually abused, emotional abuse is also often happening to the child.

Symptoms

EMOTIONAL ABUSE

These are examples of emotional abuse:

These are signs that a child may be emotionally abused. They may have any of the following:

CHILD NEGLECT

These are examples of child neglect:

These are signs that a child may be neglected. The child may:

Treatment

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

If you think a child is in immediate danger because of abuse or neglect, call 911.

Call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453). Crisis counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Interpreters are available to help in 170 languages. The counselor on the phone can help you figure out what steps to take next. All calls are anonymous and confidential.

Counseling and support groups are available for children and for abusive parents who want to get help.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The long-term outcome depends on:


Review Date: 10/11/2018
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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