Rep. Kirkland fights for improved recognition of childhood emotional abuse

HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware, today introduced a resolution in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to officially recognize childhood emotional abuse and its toxic effect on all individuals in the commonwealth.

House Resolution 119 acknowledges the warning signs, scope and lasting effects of childhood emotional abuse, Kirkland said, and encourages passing a bill to raise awareness, make detection easier, and provide proactive mental health services for victims and abusers.

“Too often, children are subject to isolation, terror and rejection in the privacy of their own homes,” said Kirkland, who serves on the Children & Youth Committee.

He noted that childhood emotional abuse is often difficult to detect and can persist for years, adversely impacting a victim’s lifelong psychological and physical health.

“Considered one of the most damaging forms of maltreatment, childhood emotional abuse also bears enormous personal and societal costs,” Kirkland said. “I hope that by increasing awareness, we will all become more adept at recognizing this devastating form of abuse and more capable of addressing it as soon as possible.”

H.R. 119 was adopted by a unanimous vote of 196-0.