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Rise In Emotional Abuse Cases Among Children

Sky News learns a "Cinderella Law" may be announced in the Queen's Speech to tackle the rising number of emotional abuse cases.

The number of emotional neglect and abuse cases referred to authorities has risen by nearly 50% over the past 12 months, according to a leading charity.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) says its helpline dealt with more than 8,000 people suffering emotional neglect and abuse this year.

The charity says some 5,354 of these cases were so serious they were referred to police or children's services, compared to 3,629 cases in the previous year.

Peter Wanless, the CEO of the NSPCC, says the statistics show emotional cruelty is not being recognised in the same way as physical abuse.

"It's very easy for us to see physical abuse if a bone gets broken, but the emotional abuse of a child has just that sort of effect on their mind," he said.

Sky News has learned a so-called "Cinderella Law" could see parents who deny their children affection face prosecution.

Robert Buckland MP is hopeful the change will be introduced soon.

He said plans for the new law may be announced in the Queen's Speech.

"I'm very optimistic that in this year's Queen's Speech we will hear this measure being announced," he said.

For the full story and related articles, please see the Sky News website.

[Text copyright 2014 Sky News]