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Children and Young People

Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse and Neglect

Worried for yourself or a friend? Call the MASH team 0161 770 7777

Abusers can be adults but not just parents or carers, abuse often occurs within a relationship of trust e.g. a teacher, carer, family friend or youth leader. It can be physical, sexual or emotional, but can just as often be about a lack of love, care and attention. We know that neglect, whatever form it takes, can be just as damaging to a child or young person as physical abuse.  Click on the headings, the highlighted or underlined words to be taken to websites that can help you.

Physical Abuse

If you are being physically hurt by someone (like being beaten, punched, kicked, slapped, hair pulled, scalded with hot water, hit with objects or punished in other ways that cause physical harm), and it wasn’t an accident you are being abused.

Child abuse means that a person is deliberately being cruel or violent towards you. It also includes poisoning, giving a child alcohol or illegal drugs, drowning or suffocation, and if your parent or carer pretends you have symptoms of an illness. For more information and guidance visit the NSPCC website.

Childline have 5 things for you to remember:

  • no matter what the reason, physical abuse is always wrong
  • being abused is not your fault
  • it might feel like telling someone could make it worse, but getting help can keep you safe
  • physical abuse can make you feel powerless. Being hurt is never your fault and our Childline counsellors are always here to help
  • if you’re in immediate danger, you can call the police on 999 and they will come to help you.

CHILDLINE have a 24/7 helpline call free on 0800 1111 or log in for a chat with a counsellor or visit their website for further information and support.

Your school teachers and support staff in your school have been trained to help with these issues and know where you can get help and the NSPCC works together with schools to keep you safe - 'Speak Out. Stay Safe' . Visit our pages on Domestic Violence for further links to Young Minds and the Hideout with lots of help and support around physical abuse.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is where repeated verbal threats, criticism, ridicule, shouting, lack of love and affection causes a severe adverse effect on a young person's emotional development. It includes making you feel worthless, unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as you meet the needs of another person.

Sometimes adults may persistently say or do cruel things intended to upset you, like putting you down all the time or making you feel worthless; or left out. Or you might see or hear other people being hurt. This could leave you feeling very unhappy and not cared for, this is emotional abuse.

Emotional abuse may include not giving you the opportunity to express your views, deliberately silencing you or 'making fun' of what you say or how you communicate. It can include inappropriate expectations being imposed on you, over protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing you from taking part in normal social interaction.

It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another person as in domestic abuse. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing you or someone you know to feel frightened or in danger of exploitation or corruption.

Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill treatment of children, or it may occur alone. Children who are emotionally abused suffer emotional maltreatment or neglect. It’s sometimes called psychological abuse and can cause you serious harm. If you are or think you may be suffering from emotional abuse call and speak to one of the MASH team on 0161 770 7777.

For information, support and advice click on the links: -


Neglect is the persistent failure to meet your basic physical and/or psychological needs, and can result in serious long-term harm of your health or development.

Neglect is when a child or young person is not getting the things they need, like somewhere safe and warm to live; somewhere to learn and develop; somewhere you will be cared for when you are not feeling well; somewhere you will get enough to eat; somewhere you will be properly looked after; and, not be ignored. Neglect often happens when children are left to care for themselves or care for others such as brothers and sisters all the time.

It also includes failure to ensure access to education or to look after you because the carer is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. For signs and symptoms and information regarding neglect visit NSPCC Neglect pages.

Childline says every young person needs the following:-

  • clothes that are clean and warm and shoes that fit and keep you dry
  • enough to eat and drink
  • protection from dangerous situations
  • somewhere warm, dry and comfortable to sleep
  • help when you're ill or you've been hurt
  • love and care from your parents or carers
  • support with your education
  • access and help with medication if needed.

More information can be found at

If you need to talk to somebody about anything you have found on this page go to

If you feel the abuse you are suffering is Honour Based Violence and Abuse visit

Worried for yourself or a friend? Call the MASH team 0161 770 7777