National violence prevention programme for Pasifika young people launched

Image: Loic Djim on Unsplash

ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio have announced the launch of a five year national violence prevention programme for Pasifika young people, called Atu-Mai.

Le Va, an organisation focused on Pasifika youth mental health and wellbeing, worked with ACC and Synergia to develop the $5.9 million programme. 

Atu-Mai is designed to address the high rates of family and sexual violence experienced by Pasifika young people. It has been co-designed with community leaders and Pasifika young people.

Atu-Mai is a strengths-based educational programme. Le Va Chief Executive Dr Monique Faleafa said:

“Atu-Mai will focus on enhancing factors that provide protection from violence and reduce the likelihood of being a victim or offender of violence in the first place. We want to equip Pasifika young people and their families with the right knowledge and tools to live free from violence and sexual harm. Atu-Mai is not a campaign, we’re taking an educational focus and skills-based approach aiming for behavioural change across generations.”

The first online learning module, "I am" is available on the Atu-Mai website now. More e-learning resources will be added to the website over time.

The programme is based on research that Le Va has conducted over the last two years that explored risk and protective factors for violence for Pasifika young people. More information about this research is expected to be released later this year.

The Multi-Agency Team's Family and sexual violence work programme update (July) noted:

"Through a national plan, Atu-Mai will focus on prevention: providing protection from violence and reducing the likelihood of being a victim or offender of violence in the first place.

... The execution of this action plan will be underpinned by the establishment of a Pasifika Spearhead service that will both deliver and coordinate services in partnership with ACC and in collaboration with Pasifika young people and communities to provide evidence-informed education, training, resources and tools to meet the needs of Pasifika communities."

For more information about Atu-Mai, see the Le Va website on violence prevention and the video, A systems approach for generational change.

Further information on family violence and Pacific communities

Dr Analosa Veukiso-Ulugia has written a brief summary of her doctoral research into Sex, suicide, silence among Pacific youth.

For data from the Youth '12 survey data, see the report: Youth’12 The Health and Wellbeing of Secondary School Students in New Zealand: Results for Pacific young people (Adolescent Health Research Group, 2016).

Pasefika Proud published The Profile of Pacific Peoples in New Zealand (2016) which collates data on a number of topics including family violence and experience with child protection services. They also published an infographic on Understanding Family Violence (2016).

Related news

Pasefika Proud is currently delivering ethnic specific family violence training programmes.

Aotearoa New Zealand's first indigenous leadership summit, Te Ara Moana, will be held in Auckland in July. Te Ara Moana is a youth lead initiative, designed, facilitated and evaluated by rangatahi Māori. Workshops will be held during the event to work on solutions in five key areas: youth suicide, diversity, environment, freedom from addiction and cyber bullying.

Selected and related media

NZ Police welcome new Pacific violence prevention programme, Radio NZ, 13.07.2018

SPC signs human rights agreement with UK Government, Press Release: Pacific Community - SPC, Scoop, 13.07.2018

Pasifika reach out for help on culture of violence, Radio NZ, 12.07.2018

Signs NZ Pasifika anti-violence programme working, Radio NZ, 12.07.2018

National violence programme for Pasifika youth kicks off, One News, 08.07.2018

Cost of assault on Pacific people rising, Newshub, 06.07.2018

First ever violence prevention programme for young Pasifika, Māori Television, 05.07.2018

Govt launches $6m violence prevention programme for Pacific Islanders, NZ Herald, 05.07.2018

Supporting a Pasifika-led approach to violence prevention, Beehive Press Release, 04.07.2018

'Empowering' national violence prevention programme targeted at Pasifika youth launched, Auckland Now, Stuff, 04.07.2018

My story, my shame, is tragically common, E-Tangata, 24.06.2018