New research reports on addressing family violence in Pacific communities

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Reports have been published from four research projects exploring addressing family violence in Pacific communities and cultural contexts.

The projects focused on both ethnic specific and wider Pacific populations. The research projects and reports are:

  • Cook Islands cultural concepts to inform family violence interventions and practice – literature search (Dr Jean Mitaera and students Langi Paasi and Helena Filipo)
  • Tongan ethnic-specific approaches to family restoration – scholarship research report (Sesimani Havea supervised by Dr Siautu Alefaio-Tugia)
  • Family violence initiatives and Pacific men - literature review (Gemma Malungahu supervised by Associate Professor Vili Nosa)
  • What makes for a good marriage or partnership? - Samoan Case Study (Professor Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop with Koleta Savaii and Eti Puni)
For each report there is also a summary document.

The Ministry of Social Development funded the research projects.

To build capability in Pacific research, applications were invited from researchers who would work with Pacific students to complete research projects.

The projects were based on Nga Vaka o Kainga Tapu: Pasefika Proud Family Violence Research Plan (2013-2018), developed by the Pasefika Proud Research Komiti (PPRAK). The Research Plan highlighted three priority areas:

  • Generation of Pasefika knowledge(s) where the focus is social and kin relationships
  • Service delivery where the focus is provider–funder responsibilities and service quality
  • Workforce development where the focus is the design, development, delivery and evaluation of Pasefika nations training programmes and the creation of databases to identify Pasefika needs and workforce targets

Researcher Yvonne Crichton-Hill has written a two-page editorial on the research, saying:

"The contributors to the MSD funded research projects demonstrate how important it is to understand Pacific notions of family and relationships and Pacific solutions to issues such as family violence.

... Responses that are culturally located and therefore driven by Pacific cultural values acknowledge that different cultural communities will employ different processes to heal and transform Pacific individuals, families and communities. The reports reveal that Pacific communities are diverse, adaptive and innovative and that these strengths can be harnessed to develop ways of working with family violence that restore peace, harmony and wellbeing to impacted family systems. There is still much work to be done, but a very good start has been made."

See the MSD webpage Pacific Family Violence Research series for the reports and more information.

Related media

Sport: Plan to use rugby to help prevent violence against Pacific women, Radio NZ, 17.08.2018

Sport: Plan to use rugby to help prevent violence against women, Radio NZ, 16.08.2018