Current child neglect laws have been criticised for focusing on the physical effects of abuse only
The government is considering whether to introduce a new offence of emotional cruelty to children, it has been confirmed.
The proposed change to neglect laws in England and Wales would see parents who deny their children affection face prosecution for the first time.
It follows a campaign for a “Cinderella Law” from charity Action for Children.
The government said child cruelty was an abhorrent crime which should be punished.
Social workers have a definition of child cruelty that they work on but because it is not written into law, this makes it difficult for the police to gather evidence.