Who's Affected

Young People

Many young people are affected by violence at home, in their peer group and in dating relationships.

Violence is against the law whether it happens in the home or outside the home.

If you are experiencing violence or abuse, talk to someone you trust – maybe a guidance counsellor, teacher, youth worker, social worker, family member or friend’s parent.

You can contact the Police or Child Youth and Family.

If you are 17 years or older you can apply for a Protection Order from the Family Court.

If you are aged under 17 years, an adult can apply for a Protection Order on your behalf.


Bullying is a form of violence. Bullying behaviour is used to dominate someone else. Tactics include manipulation, threats, coercion and isolation.

Young people can be bullied by siblings, teachers, bosses, neighbours and other family members.

Bullies usually have low self esteem and are very self centred. They try to control others to make themselves feel important or powerful.

If you are being bullied it can make you feel nervous, sick, fearful and unhappy.

You need to tell a trusted adult if you are being bullied.

Date Rape

Date rape is when someone you know and are dating forces you into sex.

Date rape can happen to any age group and any gender, but a lot of victims are young women.

It is a crime to coerce, force or manipulate someone into having sex.

If this has happened to you, you can get confidential counselling with an ACC registered counsellor for free, you can also lay a complaint with the police about it. They may ask you to see a doctor to see if you are physically ok.

Young People and Anger

Anger is a normal human emotion. We learn how to express anger from our families or the people we spend most time with.

Using violence is a common but unacceptable way to show anger.

If you are struggling with angry feelings and how to express them appropriately, there are courses and support available through agencies in Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga/The National Network of Stopping Violence Services.

Youth Programmes:

A number of agencies in our network offer youth programmes.

Some are court approved courses for youth who have experienced or witnessed violence.

Some are for youth who are struggling with their own anger and violence.

Some are more general educational groups exploring safe and healthy relationship, communication and safe expression of feelings, rights and boundaries.


Children are hugely affected by domestic violence whether it is happening to them or if they see, hear or know about it.

Children’s Abuse Wheel

The following diagram shows some examples of how violence is used against children:


Click here to view *Diagram of the Children’s abuse wheel.


Children can get caught in the middle of adult conflict and used as pawns between parents. This is abusive and puts the child in a difficult and scary position.

Impacts of Violence on Children

The following is a list of impacts on children who are living in situations of family violence.

(The list is compiled and adapted from a number of resources including “Community Action to Prevent Family Violence. Safer Community Education 1997” and “Peter Jaffe, Duluth Intervention Project”)

  • All will suffer emotional abuse.
  • Neglect, including emotional neglect.
  • Excessive fears.
  • Nightmares.
  • Nervousness or shyness.
  • Disruptive behaviours such as frequent tantrums, persistent bullying, extreme physical aggression, uncooperative.
  • Inability to concentrate.
  • Withdrawn.
  • Find it hard to make friends or trust adults.
  • Be cruel to animals.
  • Failure to thrive physically.
  • Be frequently sick.
  • Lack appetite.
  • Be unhappy, worried.
  • Demanding.
  • Regress to early stages of development.
  • Feel insecure.
  • Have very shaky self esteem.
  • Feel guilt and blame themselves.
  • Feel terror.
  • Be fearful of expression of feelings.
  • More susceptible to peer pressure.
  • Take on parent role.
  • See little hope in the future.
  • Depression.
  • Lie, steal, cheat.
  • Boundary invade because they don’t know their boundaries.
  • Use violence to ‘solve’ problems.
  • Poor sexual image.
  • Immature.
  • High risk of risky behaviour such as alcohol, drugs, running away.
  • Be prone to negligence and carelessness.
  • Have heightened suicide risk, or fantasies about murdering the abuser.
  • Hate themselves because they are the same gender as the abuser or victim.
  • Learn inappropriate roles on what it means to be female or male in relationships.
  • Have huge shame.
  • Have unsafe secrets.
  • Have physical injury, short and long term, and permanent.
  • Be fearful of relationships.
  • Become promiscuous.

Many agencies offer support for children who are affected by domestic violence. Contact an agency in our network for details.

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