Whakamanioro ā-aurongo me ā-tinana (taiohi me rangatahi) Emotional and physical abuse in teens and young adults

Everybody deserves to be treated with respect and to feel safe. Abuse is never OK. It is always wrong. Find out what to do if you are being abused, and access free support services.

Reporting family violence

Phone 111 for the police if you or someone else is in immediate danger.

If you or someone else is affected by family violence, call the Family Violence Information Line on 0800 456 450. It is available 24 hours, every day.

Types of abuse

There are many different types of abuse. Abuse may be one type or a combination of types.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse is when someone uses deliberate force to hurt your body. This includes hitting, kicking and slapping.

Emotional (psychological) abuse

Emotional abuse is when someone uses controlling or bullying behaviour to intimidate you. This can include repeatedly undermining you or putting you down, isolating you from whānau (family) and friends and creating a climate of fear.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is when an abuser forces you to have sex or do something sexual without your consent, or when you do not want to. The abuser may use physical force or verbal threats. Sexual abuse also includes any kind of inappropriate touching.

What to do if you are being abused

Getting information helps, but it is also important to tell someone you trust who can support you and help you. This may be:

  • someone from your whānau
  • a caregiver
  • a teacher
  • your school counsellor or social worker
  • a friend's parents
  • your healthcare provider.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell someone about what is going on, especially if someone close is hurting you. You may find it easier to talk anonymously to someone on a telephone helpline.

Getting help

0800 What's Up?

A free counselling helpline and webchat service for tamariki (children) and rangatahi (young people).

0800 What's Up? (external link) 


Information and help for people of all ages to get safe and stay safe. It also has information about programmes for tamariki who are or have been abused and for men who use violence.

Shine (external link)


Any rangatahi in Aotearoa New Zealand, or anyone supporting a rangatahi, can call Youthline for help. The website has information about different kinds of abuse and how to support friends who might be being abused.

Youthline (external link)

It's not OK

Information about family violence and rangatahi. It includes information for different communities and in different languages. The support page includes a directory to find what is available in your area and options for different communities.

Get support — It's not OK (external link)

Clinical review

This content was written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. It has been adapted for Health Information and Services.

Clinical advisers — HealthInfo (external link)