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What is 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 does 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 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
  • stops you from having friends

If any of this is happening to you, you might think that it's your fault. It isn't. Every child and young person has the right to feel safe and not to feel threatened. If you want to talk about emotional abuse, there are people who care - they will listen to you and help you. Talk to someone / get help.

This information is from ChildLine's website where you can find lots of information, help and advice on a wide range of problems you might be facing.