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Youth Sports: Abuse Takes Many Forms

Emotional, physical, sexual abuse and neglect surprisingly common

Your child is being abused when someone uses his or her power or position to harm them emotionally, physically, or sexually.

Emotional Abuse

  • Is a verbal attack on a child's self esteem by a person in a position of power, authority, or trust such as a parent or coach
  • Occurs even if the attack is intended as a form of discipline or is not intended by the adult to cause harm
  • Takes many forms, including any of the following:
    • Name calling ("Hey, Fatty!" or "Hey, Shorty" or "Hey, Mr. Klutz")
    • Threatening ("If you don't win, you can forget about me buying that new CD you want")
    • Insulting ("You're stupid" or "You're clumsy" or "You're an embarrassment to our family" or "You don't deserve to wear that uniform.")
    • Criticizing or ridiculing ("You are a loser" or "I thought you were better than that. I guess I was wrong.")
    • Intimidating ("Watch out kid, my son is going to break your nose")
    • Yelling at a child for losing or not playing up to the adult's expectations
    • Hazing
    • Negative questioning ("Why didn't you win?" or "How could you let that guy beat you?")
    • Shunning or withholding love or affection (not speaking to, hugging, or comforting your child after she plays poorly in a game or practice, or her team loses; showing obvious signs of disappointment)
    • Punishing a child for not playing up to your expectations or when her team loses.
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