Sophie’s Story

Sophie died at the age of 22. She had been stabbed 216 times by her former boyfriend.

Sophie had just completed a first class honours degree in Economics at Otago University. This precious photograph is the last one taken of her – it was taken by her proud mum who accompanied Sophie to Wellington as she prepared for her job interview. The interview was a resounding success: the day Sophie died she was packing to leave for Wellington to begin a promising career at NZ Treasury.

Sophie was nervous but also excited at the life that lay ahead of her.

Sophie was murdered in her own bedroom by an ex-boyfriend she had just ended a five month relationship with. The relationship had been punctuated with what we now know as typical partner abuse. It encompassed much psychological abuse and, in the end, two episodes of physical violence before Sophie’s brutal murder.

Tens of thousands of New Zealand women could tell a story just like Sophie’s. All end with varying levels of violence, but the signs and symptoms of abuse are hauntingly similar.

Because abusive behaviours are so common, and so similar, they can be readily identified – if you know the signs.

violence prevention

The Sophie Elliott Foundation is committed to enabling young women to identify warnings patterns and remove themselves safely from abusive relationships as early as possible.

abusive relationships

About Sophie

Sophie had a love for life, her family, friends and animals.

She was an accomplished piano player, photographer, dancer.

A much loved daughter, sister, niece and cousin.

She was an intelligent, hardworking and awarded student.

abusive relationships

Her caricatures

Sophie would leave sweet notes for her family and friends. Little messages of fun and love with a caricature drawing of her and them. Little notes to brighten a loved one’s day.

The Sophie Elliott Foundation logo has been inspired by Sophie’s drawings. We have captured her as she sketched herself. With beautiful hair, a quirky expression, and Sophie’s Rose. One of her favourites.

abusive relationships

Her cat Kade

Sophie had a beloved cat named Kade. A gorgeous fat bellied ginger. Sophie was Kade’s best friend and despite being in perfect health and young, Kade grieved for Sophie so badly, waiting on her bed for her to return, that he himself died three weeks after Sophie. We know Kade and Sophie are together now in heaven and we have kept him with her as part of the Foundation too.

If you think you or someone you know may suffer from dating violence or abusive relationships please ask for help