Emotional Abuse

If someone is always telling you that you're ugly, stupid, worthless or that they'd wished you'd never been born - that's emotional abuse. It's wrong, even if they are not doing it on purpose and can make you scared, sad and upset.

It is emotional abuse when someone:

  • calls you names or shouts down at you;
  • puts you down or says you aren’t good enough;
  • ignores you or leaves you out of things;
  • says or do things that make you feel bad about yourself;
  • pushes you away or makes you feel like you don’t belong in the family;
  • makes you do things that you are not your responsibility, like caring for your brothers and sisters;
  • tries to control you or push you too hard;
  • treats you differently from your brothers or sisters;
  • puts you in dangerous situations;
  • makes you see things that are distressing, like domestic violence; and/or
  • stops you from having friends.

What to do if you are being emotionally abused

Tell someone
If you are being emotionally abused it can help to tell someone about what is happening. You can talk to a ChildLine counsellor online through 1-2-1 chat or call free on 0800 1111. We know this can be difficult and you might worry about what may happen or whether you will be believed. We care about you very much and are here for you all day, every day.

Write it in a letter
If it's too difficult to tell someone you might find it easier to write a letter to an adult you trust telling them about what is happening. You can also email it to a ChildLine counsellor.  

Keep a diary of the abuse
You could also keep a diary of the abuse, recording what has happened and when, and then show this to the adult you trust. This could be a family member, a friend, someone at school such as a teacher or a school counsellor.

Contact social services
Some young people make the decision to contact social services (also called Children’s Services) so they can get help for themselves or their family. If you’re thinking about this, remember you can come and talk to a ChildLine counsellor about how you feel and what you want to happen.

For more information on emotional abuse click here https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/abuse-safety/emotional-abuse/

Contact Us

(Not for reporting child protection concerns)
Moray Child Protection Committee
The Moray Council, Education and Social Care,
High Street, Elgin
IV30 1BX

01343 563424

01343 563990


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