A serious pattern of abuse which is used to control someone by targeting their emotions.


Emotional abuse chips away at your sense of self-worth and independence. The behaviours of an abuser can be controlling, manipulative and possessive. To a victim of emotional abuse this behaviour may not feel 'serious' because there are no physical marks.

It's important to know that emotional abuse is serious. No one should have to put up it. Unlike physical abuse the signs of emotional abuse are subtle, but the impact is just as devastating. It can have long term impacts to self-confidence, self-worth and independence. 

It's important to be educated about the warning signs of emotional abuse. To know how to both identify the abuse and how to deal with it wether you witness or experience it yourself. 


Warning Signs 

There are nine common warning signs of an emotionally abusive relationship. 

Have a read through and see if you notice anything familiar? 



Where to go for help?

There are many places to go to for help if you're witnessing or experiencing emotional abuse. 

Prepair NZ educate young women about emotional abuse, however we do not provide counselling or support services for anyone dealing with it. You can contact some of the following trusted organisations for help. 


  • A trusted friend or adult 
  • School / Campus / Workplace Counsellor 
  • 1737 Here to help                 Free text 1737 

  • The Lowdown                      Email chat or Free text 5626


How do I support my friend? 

As a friend or loved one you have the power to support someone who is being emotionally abused. Simply listening or asking questions about behaviours can be a good starting point

  • Do listen without judgement. 
  • Do remember that your friend is in love. Question the behaviour not their partner. 
  • Do show support. You may be the only positive person they reach out to. 
  • Do stay connected.
  • Do take violence seriously. There is never an excuse. 
  • Do encourage them to seek help from a support service
  • If at anytime, you believe there is a threat to their safety, call the Police.