Help to com­bat emo­tional abuse

Sunderland Echo - - Advice -

My par­ents con­sis­tently swear at me, make me feel bad and put me down. This is what one boy told Child­line.

If some­one re­peat­edly puts you down, shouts at you, ig­nores you, or makes you feel bad about your­self, then that’s emo­tional abuse.

This boy is just one of the hun­dreds of chil­dren and young peo­ple who con­tact Child­line each year and say they have been emo­tion­ally abused.

This kind of abuse also in­cludes be­ing made to feel like you don’t be­long or be­ing con­trolled and pres­surised into do­ing things you don’t feel com­fort­able do­ing.

Or it might be that you reg­u­larly wit­ness vi­o­lence and ag­gres­sion in your fam­ily, you are stopped from hav­ing friends or you are made to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for things you shouldn’t have to un­til you’re older.

Last year, some young peo­ple who con­tacted Child­line with sui­ci­dal thoughts or feel­ings talked about be­ing con­stantly put down by their par­ents, be­ing told that they were use­less and made to feel un­wanted.

In many of these cases the young per­son had lost their sense of self-worth and didn’t think they would be missed if they were to take their lives.

Some­times young peo­ple who talk to a Child­line coun­sel­lor don’t ac­tu­ally re­alise that what has hap­pened to them is emo­tional abuse and that it’s wrong.

This can be be­cause they’re used to be­ing treated in such a way.

The abuser may be a par­ent, some­one at school or a boyfriend or girl­friend, and there are many rea­sons why they act in this way.

It might be be­cause they are stressed or they feel a need to con­trol other peo­ple, es­pe­cially if they’re strug­gling to con­trol their own life.

But what­ever their rea­sons, it’s not OK.

All chil­dren and young peo­ple de­serve to be treated with care and re­spect.

If you feel this is hap­pen­ing to you, the best thing to do is not strug­gle alone but to tell some­one about it. Our Child­line coun­sel­lors are al­ways avail­able to lis­ten and give sup­port.

Also you can share your feel­ings with other young peo­ple on our Child­line mes­sage boards.

Chil­dren and young peo­ple with any wor­ries can con­tact Child­line on 0800 1111 or www.child­

Mean­while adults who are con­cerned about a child can con­tact the NSPCC’s free and con­fi­den­tial helpline on 0808 800 5000.

There is also a video about Child­line on the web­site.

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