“For example, the silent treatment does not involve words nor physical abuse, but it inflicts on the shunned child a sense of insignificance, unworthiness. The silent treatment tells a child,
“You have not behaved as I have desired, so your existence will not be acknowledged until you apologize or prove yourself under my complete control.”
[via Neal Sanche] “How could you have been abused?” a grossly misinformed person in an adult survivor’s life may say. “You had a roof over your head, food in your belly, clothes, and no one ever hit you!”
But as every adult survivor of emotional child abuse knows, the essentials—good attention, unconditional love, and emotional support—were missing.
Unfortunately, however, many misconceptions about emotional child abuse abound. Here’s a look at some of the biggest ones.
Misconception #1: Emotional abuse is another word for verbal abuse
Fact:Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse, non-verbal abuse, and non-physical forms of abuse.
“Child abuse is more than bruises or broken bones,” state Melinda Smith, M.D., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D, in a HelpGuide article. “While physical abuse is shocking due to the scars it leaves, not all child abuse is as obvious. Ignoring children’s needs, putting them in unsupervised, dangerous situations, or making…
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