Adult Abuse Reporting & Resources - VCH ReAct - Vancouver Coastal Health

VCH ReAct

About adult abuse & neglect

What is abuse? Psychological abuse

Any act, including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.

This is sometimes called emotional abuse. Some researchers refer to it by formal terms such as "chronic verbal aggression".

Psychological abuse can make the person feel "less of a person". It diminishes the person's sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth. Abused people often find that psychological or emotional abuse is the most hurtful form of abuse. 

Psychological abuse may make a person fearful or cause the person mental anguish. This may be done in several ways, including by:

Psychological abuse includes behaviours such as:

Psychological abuse also happens when the adult is excluded from decision making when the person is capable and wants to be included (in other words, "making decisions for them"), and depriving them of their rights.

Justice Canada includes these as some examples of psychological abuse: (3)

It can also include:

If you recognize any of these indicators that are unexplained by the adult then you need to ACT! Report Abuse, Neglect and Self-Neglect.

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