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In November 2020, the Children’s Authority revealed that there was an increase in reports of emotional abuse against children during the pandemic.

The other reports made to the authority about children at that time were sexual and physical abuse and neglect.

On Tuesday, clinical psychologist Victoria Siewnarine-Geelalsingh said this abuse could be due to unresolved trauma in some adults.

“Their response is one of lingering hurt, so in a way we have to consider the perception of the person the abusive person,” Siewnarine-Geelalsingh said.

Speaking on CNC3’s the Morning Brew programme, Siewnarine-Geelalsingh said what the world saw as adjusting to the new normal would be different for those dealing with trauma from being abused as a child. She said adults who did not deal with damage would find it hard to cope.

“That change and that shift in my attachment style causes me now to not be able to have healthy attachment when I get older, the self-doubt and this inferiority that comes out of being abused as a child relates to unhealthy relationships,” she added.

Siewnarine-Geelalsingh explained that most adults with this type of hurt turn to maladaptive coping mechanisms to survive such as substance abuse with the end result being abusing a child themselves.

“That’s their normal,” she said.

The clinical psychologist said when adults are guilty of denying their children’s claims of abuse by another adult or abusing children themselves the question about why that action was done has to be asked.

“What had to happen to you for you to be okay doing something like this?” she said.

Siewnarine-Geelalsingh explained that she recently had a client in her 50’s who was having epileptic seizures and when the cause was fleshed out, the client remembered that she had an uncle who used to give her gifts and abuse her.

“She had forgotten it and it’s a real thing that people deny and repress these kinds of memories because it’s a difficult thing to go through as a child,” she said.

She urged parents to pay attention to their children and have conversations with them. She also called for parents to believe children when they say they are not comfortable around a certain adult.

Siewnarine-Geelalsingh’s page can be found on Facebook: Victoria Siewnarine-Geelalsingh M.Sc. Clinical Psychologist.