The aim of this paper is to analyse psychological child abuse in family relationships and, in particular, its treatment in criminal context. The main topics investigated concern the expression of problems this kind of abuse faces in criminal law context, the construction of a criminal proceedings model, as has been suggested by two Public Prosecutors and a Judge of Milan Criminal Court and the analysis of a second and third degree judgement about a crime of this kind. The conclusion we reach underlines that it should be necessary to proceed always in the child’s interest. In other words it should be indispensable to provide a clear definition of emotional abuse to a normative level, and to provide for a criminal prosecution when it’s necessary. In contrast, it should be useful to plan a family reconstruction course, in case of parents’ resilience.
Keywords: Psychological abuse, criminal law, criminal proceedings, child’s interest.