The Impact of Emotional Abuse on Children: Understanding the Consequences
May 2, 2023

Emotional Abuse in Children is a serious issue that affects millions of children worldwide, and it can take many forms. While most people think of physical or sexual abuse when they think of child maltreatment, a recent study in Australia found that emotional abuse is just as widespread and can cause similar harm to children.

Emotional abuse is a pattern of parent or caregiver behavior that communicates to the child that they are worthless, unloved, unwanted, or that their only value is in meeting someone else's needs. It can include verbal hostility, rejection, or denying emotional responsiveness, and it often occurs repeatedly over a period of years.

The Australian Child Maltreatment Study found that 30.9% of Australians experienced emotional abuse during their childhood, with rates among young people aged 16-24 even higher at 34.6%. Women are more likely to experience emotional abuse than men, and there are higher rates of emotional abuse among gender-diverse people.

The impact of emotional abuse is significant. Adults who experienced emotional abuse in childhood are 1.9 times more likely to have a major depressive disorder, 2.1 times more likely to have a generalized anxiety disorder, and 2.0 times more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder than Australians who were not maltreated in childhood. They are also 2.1 times more likely to have self-harmed and 2.3 times more likely to have attempted suicide in the past year. Emotional abuse is also linked to obesity, binge drinking, and cannabis dependence.

Given the prevalence and impact of emotional abuse, it is crucial to take action to reduce it. A comprehensive approach is required, starting with broad policy change and encompassing a range of strategies including parenting interventions, mental health interventions, and population education approaches.

Evidence-based parenting supports should be widely available and easily accessible to prevent and treat emotional abuse. These programs should aim to enhance positive, loving parent-child relationships, teach non-abusive parenting strategies, combat negative attributions, and enhance parental confidence. Such programs teach parents why children behave as they do and provide practical strategies for communicating with children and showing affection, encouraging positive behavior, and using clear, calm limit-setting and discipline to manage problem behavior.

Population studies of parenting interventions have demonstrated reductions in rates of physical abuse across whole communities, indicating that even parents who do not actively attend parenting programs benefit from their availability. Since these focus on strengthening parent-child relationships and reducing known parental risk factors, it is likely that they would also reduce rates of emotional abuse.

Prevention and early intervention programs could be delivered through pre-schools and schools, while more intensive support for high-needs families could be offered through maternal and family health services, allied health professionals, and mental health specialists. Parenting support must be embedded within broader social and policy changes designed to support families, including those focused on reducing financial strain and food insecurity, and those that aim to increase access to high-quality childcare, education, and health and mental health services.

In addition to policy changes and parenting interventions, public health campaigns using mass and social media could be used to reduce emotional abuse. Such campaigns could raise awareness about the signs and impacts of emotional abuse and provide tips and resources for parents and caregivers to prevent it. For example, a campaign similar to the Slip Slop Slap campaign that resulted in reductions in melanoma rates could be used to promote positive parenting practices.

In conclusion, emotional abuse is a serious and overlooked form of child maltreatment that requires urgent attention. It is associated with similar harms as sexual abuse, and adults who experienced emotional abuse in childhood are more likely to have mental health issues and engage in harmful behaviors. To reduce emotional abuse, a comprehensive approach is required, including broad policy change, evidence-based parenting supports, and population education approaches. All children deserve to be raised in loving,

Leave your comments / questions for this practitioner

To write a comment please
Category filter
Concern filter
Type filter

All categories

Emotional Trauma Therapy
$55 USD
healing session
NLP, Hypnosis and Neuromodulation Fusion

A dynamic, science based process designed to activate your neurology and release pain (emotional & physical), connected to a somatic (bodily) address.

You will learn how to use your body, breath & memories to clear blockages and completely remove the underlying reasons for your discomfort or illness.

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a psychological approach that involves analyzing strategies used by successful individuals and applying them to reach a personal goal. It relates thoughts, language, and patterns of behavior learned through experience to specific outcomes.

Hypnosis, also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Hypnosis is usually done with the help of a therapist using verbal repetition and mental images.

What is neuromodulation? The International Neuromodulation Society defines therapeutic neuromodulation as “the alteration of nerve activity through targeted delivery of a stimulus, such as electrical stimulation or chemical agents, to specific neurological sites in the body.”

Agnieszka Furtak
Emotional Trauma Therapy
$150 USD
healing session
1-Hour Personalized Intuitive Healing Session

Since I practice a wide range of modalities (including but not limited to Reiki, Inner Child Work, Ego Alchemy [aka Shadow Work], and Womb/Sacral Healing), I'm able to offer a variety of services... but I want to keep it simple for you! In this appointment, we'll spend the first 15-20 minutes discussing your concerns and goals, approximately an hour practicing the recommended/requested modality or mixture of modalities, and the remainder of the 90-minute appointment reviewing your results and recommending post-session self-care/homework.

Reiki now falls under this booking since it's often incorporated with other modalities, and note that you can request a Reiki-only session if you prefer. No experience is necessary as long as you have an open mind!

All services are easily delivered online so know that you're not limited if you're not local! I've worked with clients throughout North America, the UK, Europe, and India, and can tell you it's just a matter of finding a time that works for both of us.

Ashley Tilson
Emotional Trauma Therapy
$10 USD
coaching session
OFFER ~ Astrology / tarot 500 word write up

I am an Astrologer with 20+ years experience, and I have also been studying psychology, relationships, animal behaviour and psychic sensations consistently throughout my life.

It is my life calling to help people to feel freer, happier and more authentic and love-centred in this life.

For just $10 I can answer one question for you, using tarot or astrology. If you wish me to use your astrological chart then providing your time, date and place of birth will make this reading very accurate. For tarot I will just require your name.

I can create this reading based on any area of your life; relationships, work, future path, vitality, spiritual calling, law of attraction or even dreams or symbol interpretation.

I also study; bach flower remedies, dream interpretation, herbal supplements and health, vegan nutrition and cooking, animal communication, aura reading, hauntings and mediumship, homeopathy, Ho'opono'pono, sekhem/all love healing and I am a reiki master.

Joëlle O'Toole
Emotional Trauma Therapy
$220 USD
healing session
Emotional Release Session

Emotional Release and Trauma therapy session (90 mintues).

This approach focuses on directly communicating with pent up emotions that are stored within the body.
The unique combination of bodywork, verbal guidance and breath allows the client to safely release deep, otherwise hidden blockages from the past.

This allows someone to come in profound contact with him/herself like never before.
Enabling them to break through the daily negativity into the life of their choosing.


Session structure
Introduction - establishing issue and goal
Main chunk - emotional release, meditative, theta brainwave state, interactions
Closing - Integreation and after care

Ashley is a Holistic Transformation Coach. Using the INTUNE five frequency method to bring your life into alignment, and empower you to break free from shackles of your past to create your dream life. Having left a corporate career in project management at the young age of 27, after experiencing burnout and the physical symptoms triggered by deep emotional wounding and pain. Embarking on her healing journey, leaving her corproate job to qualify in holistic energy life coaching (specialties on energy work, limiting belief clearings, impactful action), ICF cettification, NLP master Practitoner, and most importantly Emotional Release & Breathwork certification.

She uses the five frequencies of MIND, CONNECTIONS, BODY, DIRECTION and SPIRIT to guide clients through practices, explorations and deep dives into themselves.
Her mission is that every person in this world, recognises their own innate power to be their own healer. To go into themselves and their past, family patterns, their beliefs, and create epic transformation in their life.

Ashleys journey herself has taken her through deep family & ancestral constellation healing, shamanic medicines, plant medicines, mental reprogramming of paradigms, feminine leadership and energetic clearing work.

Ashley Frost
Registered individuals enjoy all the possibilities of Core Spirit.