Which type of abuse is hardest to detect?

Emotional or psychological abuse

Emotional abuse often coexists with other forms of abuse, and it is the most difficult to identify.

Child abuse and neglect pose an increasingly recognized and serious threat to the nation’s children. In the last 10 years the reported cases of abused and neglected children more than doubled, from 1.4 million in 1986 to more than 3 million in 1997; substance abuse was involved in more than 70 percent of the cases. A recent survey of State child welfare administrators found that parental substance abuse was a factor in at least 50 percent of substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect. Moreover, 80 percent reported that substance abuse and poverty were the two primary factors contributing to abuse and neglect (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS], 1999).


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