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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Emotional & physical abuse in teens & young adults

Whakamanioro ā-aurongo me ā-tinana (taiohi me rangatahi)


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.

Everybody deserves to be treated with respect and to feel safe. Abuse is never OK. It is always wrong.

Abuse is any form of physical or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse or neglect that either results in actual harm or could result in harm. Abuse can happen to anyone regardless of their gender, age, race or religion.

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

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, teacher, your school counsellor or social worker, a friend's parents or your general practice team.

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.

Phone and helplines

If you prefer to talk to someone anonymously, try one of these helplines for advice and support. They are free from any mobile, landline or pay phone.

0800 What's Up?

0800 What's Up? is a free counselling helpline and webchat service for tamariki (children) and rangatahi (young people).

Freephone 0800‑942‑8787. 12 noon to 11 pm, Monday to Friday and 3 pm to 11 pm, weekends.

You may prefer to chat online. 11 am to 10.30 pm, daily.

You can also read about family violence and what you can do.


Freephone 0508-744-633. At Shine you can speak to a counsellor from 9 am to 11 pm, any day.

The website has 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.


Any rangatahi in New Zealand, or anyone supporting a rangatahi, can call Youthline for help.

Freephone 0800‑376-633 (any time) or free txt 234 to speak to a counsellor.

You can also chat online using the webchat between 10 am and 10 pm, Tuesday to Friday and 4:30 pm to 10 pm, Saturday to Monday.

Email any time. Counsellors aim to respond to emails within 24 hours.

In the links below, you will find more information and advice about how to get help.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed February 2024.


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Page reference: 50760

Review key: HIEPA-50760