Annette is the founder of the Mend Project, a nonprofit organization that provides clarity and education to victims and survivors of emotional abuse. Through free monthly trainings the Mend Project strives to provide resources for victims, responders, therapists, and faith leaders. 

This conversation between Annette and host, Mandi, focuses on two topics: covert emotional abuse and also teen relationship violence. 

Covert emotional abuse is defined and Annette shares examples of the behavior. We learn that clarity is the first necessary step to healing. 

The majority of their conversation focuses on teen dating violence. Annette defines what this means and the alarming teen dating violence stats with the forms of abuse we are seeing. Great examples of what a healthy vs. unhealthy relationship looks like.

The ladies encourage listeners to visit website and download clarifying terms and definitions in their list of manipulative behaviors, which is applicable even for young kids who are in a bullying situation.

The conversation ended with how to help our teens get the support from us they need, along with how to break up with an unhealthy partner and how to set boundaries. 

Lastly, covert emotional abuse is clearly defined and resources for any type of toxic relationship are shared. It was strongly suggested that we validate our kids so they trust their own intuition to go on to live a healthy happy future.

Lessons Learned

1. What is emotional abuse? The abuser avoids responsibility for their actions, they deflect your concerns, they have power over you, they aren’t truly authentic, they manipulate you and shift the blame always back to you or someone other than themselves.

2. What is a healthy relationship? That is one with mutual trust, transparency, honesty and respect.

3. How to help our teens? Hear them calmly, let them express how they’re feeling, validate that you’ve heard them, encourage confidence, self worth and value.

Resources has some wonderful free resources. 

We also list the Domestic Violence Hotline at

You can find Mandi on Instagram @WomenAwareAndPrepared or her website, where you can find out if you’re doing the 10 top tips to stay safer! Grab the free download at the bottom of the site!


0:01:45 Annette Shares About How The Mend Project Helps The Community

0:06:59 Education and Resources for Understanding Emotional Abuse

0:09:03 Defining Teen Relationship Violence

0:12:02 Overview of Teen Dating Violence Statistics and Forms of Abuse

0:17:58 Discussion on Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships in Teens

0:20:05 Exploring Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships

0:27:20 Validation of Children’s Emotions and Intuition

0:29:00 Strategies for Supporting Teen Victims of Psychological Abuse

0:39:39 Breaking Up with an Unhealthy Partner

0:43:35 Setting Boundaries with People Who Don’t Respect Them

0:44:27 Covert Emotional Abuse

0:47:14 Toxic Relationships and Resources for Help

0:48:30 Improving Your Child’s Emotional IQ Before Dating

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