Home What is Child Abuse

What is Child Abuse

Types of Abuse

Physical Abuse

Emotional Abuse

Emotional Abuse

What is Emotional Abuse in conjunction with Child Abuse?
The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in the United States defines emotional abuse as any act or omission delivered by the parents or other caregivers that have precipitated or could, in the future cause, cognitive, extreme behavioral, emotional or mental disorders. 
The term “emotional abuse” is loaded, for it will carry numerous meanings; in some forms of emotional abuse, the acts of parents or caregivers, that do not pose any direct harm in the child’s condition or behavior, may still be sufficient to warrant child protective services intervention. For example, the underlying parents or caregivers may use bizarre or extreme forms of punishment, such as confinement. Less severe acts of emotional abuse will include: habitual scapegoating, rejecting treatment, belittling—in these instances, it is rare that Child Services agencies will intervene without tangible evidence of harm (various disorders) to the youth. 
The American medical Association, in alignment with the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, defines emotional abuse as: “when a child is regularly threatened, yelled at, humiliated, ignored, blamed or otherwise emotionally mistreated. For example, making fun of a child, calling a child names, and always finding fault are forms of emotional abuse.”
As a result of these definitions, emotional abuse goes beyond verbal abuse; emotional abuse is the habitual attack on a child’s social and emotional development. The mental impediment sparked by emotional abuse acts as a basic threat to healthy human development.
Types of Emotional Abuse:
Belittling: This form of emotional abuse causes the child to see him or herself in alignment with the parents’ or caregiver’s crude remarks. Belittling limits the child’s potential and well-being by impeding the youth’s own sense of his or her abilities and potential.
Coldness: Interactions with parents are a fundamental activity to mold a youth’s view of the general world. As a result of this relationship, if parents are loving and warm, a child will typically grow to view the world as a secure place for exploration and development. Conversely, when parents are cold to their children, they ultimately deprive the child of fundamental ingredients for social and intellectual development. Through this interaction, children who are subjected to consistent coldness will grow to view the world as an uninviting and tumultuous place; this interpretation will, most likely, impair the child’s relationships in the future.
Cruelty: This type of emotional abused is considered more severe than coldness, even though the end results may be the same. When a child undergoes cruelty at the hands of their caretakers, their development is severely impeded. Cruelty encompasses all negative interactions including: name calling and general mistreatment. 
Harassment: Similar to belittling, this type of emotional abuse is the habitual expression of negativity through name-calling and dubious remarks. Harassment, in addition to the characteristics attached to belittling, involves a stress response; harassment ultimately scares the child and repeated exposure to fear can discourage the child from effectively handling future stressful situations.
Ignoring: This form of emotional abuse deprives the child of essential stimulation and interaction, which is necessary for intellectual, emotional and social development. 
Isolating: This form of emotional abuse cuts a child off from normal social experiences. Isolating a child will prevent the youth from forming friendships, which will ultimately lead to depression and impair the minor from developing socially, emotionally and intellectually. 
Rejecting: When a parent or caretaker rejects a child, the individual is negating the child’s self-image, while ultimately showing the youth that he or she has no value. 

Drug Abuse

Drug Abuse

Parental Drug Abuse as a form of Child Abuse:
Parents or other caregivers who habitually abuse alcohol or drugs carry negative effects on the safety, health and overall well-being towards their children. Currently, 47 states—as wells as the District of Columbia, Guam, and the United States Virgin Islands—enforce laws within their unique child protection statutes that specifically address the issue of drug abuse by parents. The principal areas of concern of these particular statutes are the harm caused by exposure to drugs during the infancy stages of a child’s life and the negative effects imposed on children of any age who are exposed to illegal drug use within their homes or general environment. 
Prenatal Drug Exposure as a form of Drug Abuse:
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act—a fundamental piece of legislation aimed to thwart drug abuse within the home—requires all states to adopt their own policies and procedures to notify their respective child protective agencies of substance-exposed newborns. Additionally, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, requires individual states to develop a protocol to effectively establish a plan of safe care for newborns who are identified as being affected by drug abuse—this plan is aimed at those children exposed to prenatal drug abuse and to those who suffer from withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure. 
Several states currently address the requirements established in the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act in their respective statutes; approximately 16 states and Washington D.C. possess specific reporting procedures regarding infants who show evidence of being exposed to alcohol, drug or other controlled substances. Currently, 12 states, including the District of Columbia, include these forms of drug abuse in their definition of child abuse or child neglect.
Children Exposed to Drug Abuse:
Through various studies, there is increasing concern regarding the negative effects on children when parents or other caretaker partake in drug abuse; the term “drug abuse” in this sense refers to any act of habitually abusing controlled substances, including the engagement of illegal drug-related activity, such as the manufacturing of methamphetamines in a home-based laboratory. 
The interpretation of drug abuse will vary on state law; however, specific circumstances that are considered child abuse or neglect as a result of drug abuse include:
The manufacturing of a controlled substance in the presence of a child or on the premises where the child resides;
The act of exposing a child to, or allowing a child to be present where, equipment or chemicals used for the manufacturing of a controlled substance are stored;
The act of distributing, selling or giving drugs or other controlled substances to a child;
Using a drug or controlled substance to impair the caregiver’s ability to adequately care for the youth;
The act of exposing a child to the criminal sale of any kind of drugs


Drug Abuse Laws in conjunction with Child Abuse:
Currently 25 states—as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands—possess specific statutes, which address drug abuse and the exposure of children to illegal drug activity. Exposing a child to the possession, manufacturing or distribution of illegal substance is considered child endangerment in seven states in the US. The exposure of a child to drug abuse or drug paraphernalia is considered a crime in North Dakota, Utah and the Virgin Islands.