Essay: Relationships and Abuse

Pages: 3 (927 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children  ·  Buy This Paper

Psychological Abuse

Child abuse is one of the worst things many of us can imagine. The fact that it is almost always a child's parents who are the perpetrators of abuse makes the situation that much worse (Cook & Cook 2005, pp. 143). Sexual abuse is usually considered the worst type of Child abuse, both by individuals and by the legal system, but other types of abuse exist. Psychological abuse is often overlooked in the uproar created by cases of physical and sexual abuse, but it is also a recognized form of child abuse with hugely detrimental effects (Cook & Cook 2005; Kairys & Johnson 2002). It is true that psychological damage is done by both physical and sexual abuse, but psychological abuse is also its own distinct entity. Quite often, physical and sexual abusers are also psychological abusers, but it is all too common to find situations of psychological abuse that is not accompanied by anything more physical or sexual in nature (Kairys & Johnson 2002, pp. 1). This can make it difficult to determine when such abuse occurs.

Psychological abuse is also referred to as emotional abuse, and occurs when "verbal put-downs and other behavior that terrorizes, threatens, rejects, or isolates children or damages their self-esteem, thought processing, or ability to manage social interactions (Cook & Cook 20o5, pp. 141). Such abuse can also be termed psychological maltreatment, and it should be stressed that, like physical and sexual abuse, it is almost always found to be pattern that defines the parent- (or abuser-) child relationship, rather than a single occurrence (Kairys & Johnson 2002, pp. 1). Basically, psychological abuse puts a child into a position of consistent belittling in a way that reduces their own sense of significance. It can also severely dampen their self-esteem and hinder their decision making processes as they learn to think of themselves the way the abuser appears to, as worthless and incapable of performing even simple tasks.

One stereotypical example of psychological abuse that persists today, often in front of the eyes and ears of other parents, is the obsessive encouragement (or admonishment, as is more often the case) of parents (often fathers) for their children (often sons) in athletic events and competitive sports. Though this pattern might not exist in other areas of the relationship, many fathers are relentless in their struggle to make their children achieve, and may even use derogatory language and express shame and other negative emotions when their sons fall short in their eyes. When this type of abusive language persists, it can actually have the reverse effect of what the father wants, making the son lose enjoyment in playing and confidence in his abilities.

The same thing can be seen in "stage-moms" or "pageant-moms" that push their daughters to… [END OF PREVIEW]

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