PREVIOUS: Abuse of Children (#3)
ABUSE STYLES (cont.)
DEF: A pattern of assaults &/or coercions in the family (physical, emotional, sexual), as well as economic duress – that an adult use against their intimate partner – to gain power & control in the relationship.
• It includes parents battering the child, exposing children to the adults harming each other or another sibling, as well as cruelty & inhumane acts against animals, in & out side the home.
It’s present in all socio-economic classes, cultures, & communities of faith. 2 out of 3 children who grow up with physical & other kinds of violence will either become a batterer or consistently mate with one
Domestic Violence and Child Abuse
DEF: Causing the suffering of another, indifference to the pain caused, even feeling pleasure in inflicting it. Can be direct (cruel comments, physical torture….) or indirect (any form of withholding). MORE….)
1st degree : intentionally cause a child under the age of eighteen “cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.”
2nd ° : only requires someone causes physical or mental pain by “criminal negligence” instead of any specific intent to cause harm
3rd ° : when a person is fighting or doing some other violent behavior – in the presence of a child
• Results are similar to ‘coldness’, but more severe. Children need to feel safe & loved to explore the world around them, to form healthy relationships. Treated cruelly by caretakers prevents their world from making sense – so the child’s social, emotional, & mental development are hindered & prolonged
a. Leaving children alone to fend for themselves. Both are NEGLECT (Part 1)
b. DEF: “Separate or cut child off from normal social experiences (friends & family), resulting in extreme aloneness”.
This form of control is usually includes other forms of emotional & physical abuse:
🤍 done seductively (“I need you, you’re my special little boy / girl”)
🤍 or brutally (“Everyone knows how bad you are. No one else wants you”)
• insist Child C. study, practice, do chores…. excessively or to exhaustion
• lock in closet, in their room, in basement…(especially for long periods)
• OR lock C. out of the house, especially when quite young
• keep C. away from one parent or other family, if parents are separated
• prevent C. from having friends & participating in activities outside the home, while praising / rewarding C. for withdrawing from social contact
• make C. look & act differently from peers (weird or inappropriate clothes, not groomed….
• serves to keep the child attached to the caretaker – used as a companion, spouse substitute, punching bag &/or slave
• equally important, it keeps the child from telling others about their abuse
• limits child’s knowledge of the world & any healthy options it may have – depending on severity & duration
• prevents the child from forming its own identity
• keeps it dependent on the caretaker to the point of being afraid to interact socially, sometimes for the rest of its life.
Emotionally, the child is left confused, terrified, lonely, depressed & hopeless.
DEF: continually terrify a child/teen by threats & other intimidation, including any form of exposure to violence in the home, threatening to walk out forever…. locking child in closet, in their room, in basement…(for long periods), OR lock child out of the house, especially when quite young…..
The end result is that the child experiences profound fear and is left to her/his own psychological imaginings. In strict-religion families (fundamentalist….), children can be terrorized by parents putting “the fear of God” in them, or threaten with the devil’s wrath, if they dont behave.
ALSO: make extreme verbal threats to / or actually :
• abandon them (send them away or leave them behind)
• harm or destroy a favorite object or pet
• ‘promise’ to give a beating – later (but then forget)
• kick teen permanently out, disown them
• reveal intensely embarrassing traits to peers or other adults
INFO: A 1995 phone survey, re. types of emotional abuse, showed that in the previous year 90% of families had used one or more forms of psychological aggression – toward a child by age 2. (Straus, Vol. 15)
NEXT: Victimizing ourselves (# 1)