Comments for What do I do when someone I know is being emotionally abused?

Click here to add your own comments

May 27, 2008
What you MUST do...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Emotional abuse is probably the most difficult of the abuses to prove; but it is not up to you or your sister or your parents to determine whether or not abuse of any kind is taking place. It is up to Child Protective Services (CPS) to make that determination.

You MUST report what you know. In Canada, everyone is legally obligated to report known or suspected child abuse. At sixteen, you are old enough to report directly to CPS. Check the Blue Pages in your local phone book to find the number. Or talk to a teacher or the principal or a counsellor at school; any one of them would have the number.

While it seems that Cleo's mother has emotional problems, whether or not she is Bi-polar or has psychiatric problems is up to a doctor to determine. No one but a doctor is in a position to give a diagnosis. Making "lay" assessments does nothing to help Cleo; which is the goal here.

Cleo's crying and depression, her lack of interest in personal hygiene and school, her ideation with death, her unnecessary dieting, and her explosive temper are all signs that must be taken very seriously. You have every reason to be concerned about her. She is at risk for harming herself. Tell an adult you trust about what is going on with Cleo: your school counsellor for example. Or contact Kids Helpline at 1-800-668-6868. They are staffed with professionally trained counsellors who will help you with some options. You can remain anonymous, if you so choose. Although they are not a reporting agency, they can help you with the process of reporting.

Besides reporting what you suspect and/or know, being a supportive friend and/or mentor is one of the best ways to help Cleo as a person. My reply to another visitor at How can I help? offers some suggestions and some pages to read on this site. While the visitor is from the UK and therefore the reporting requirements listed are different, the way you can help Cleo is much the same.

And don't forget to take care of yourself. This is obviously stressing you. Talk to someone about what you're dealing with too. You are every bit as important as Cleo is.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Oct 29, 2010
What do I do to help my friend?
by: Anonymous

Let's call my friend Maci. Maci has always tried to be a possitive person and never really used to tell you when anything was bothering her. But know she texts/calls me at night crying becasue her parents had threatned her little sister or her. Her parents have told her that they would kick them out in the middle of the street for them to fend for themselves and they are somewhat abusive. Her parents say that neither her nor her sister love them and care about them. She here lately has been very upset and she doesn't know what to do, so she has been coming to me for advise. I of course have no idea what she should do so I came here. A few of my friends have told her to call C.P.S.(Child Protective Services) but she doesn't know if she should but she just wants her and her sister to be safe. She is also having the problem of how she is scared that she will be adopted by someone that she doesn't even know and she will have to move out of state. And she has also mentioned how she won't leave anywhere without her cats so we have no idea to tell her about this situation. Please help me help her. Thanks and God bless.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to What do I do when someone I know is being emotionally abused?

Return to Ask Darlene

Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge the child abuse
stories on this site are true. While I cannot guarantee
this, I do try to balance the need for the submitter to be
heard and validated with the needs of my visitors.



E-book: Victim To Victory

From Victim to Victory
a memoir

How I got over the devastating effects of child abuse and moved on with my life

Read more...

Most Recent

  1. The reasons I've been absent

    Nov 14, 17 01:30 PM

    It's been another challenging time for me. As I actively work toward an online program for survivors of sexual abuse, I've also had to deal with issues at home. Hubby has been diagnosed with 2 types o…

    Read More

  2. I Self Medicate

    Jun 26, 17 04:40 PM

    When I was 3 we left Illinois for Arizona. The day we left my grandfather had a heart attack and died. I have one uncomfortable grainy memory of him. I

    Read More

  3. Ongoing Abuse

    Jun 06, 17 03:03 PM

    I'm 15/16. I am still getting abused physically, mentally and verbally by my family especially my mother. I don't understand what to do to overcome this.

    Read More

E-book: Victim To Victory

From Victim to Victory
a memoir

How I got over the devastating effects of child abuse and moved on with my life

Read more...