Taking action against family violence

posted: 11:00 am - 10th May 2018
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Aiming to support and strengthen understanding of what defines family violence and the effect family violence has on Pacific communities across New Zealand, the Pasefika Proud Pacific Family Violence Training Programme (PFVTP) is underway for 2018.

Launched in 2016, PFVTP is part of the Nga Vaka o Kāiga Tapu framework outlined in 2012.

Nga Vaka o Kāiga Tapu sets out key cultural concepts and principles that promote family wellbeing for each of the eight Pacific communities living in Aotearoa NZ: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu.

When Pacific peoples are victims, perpetrators or witness family violence it is important they receive the best advice and support.

The programme is in two parts and is intended to build the capability of Pacific providers, practitioners and influential community members by providing culturally appropriate responses to Pacific individuals and families affected by family violence.

It is tailored to provide these people, who are often the first point of contact for Pacific families at risk, with a working knowledge of the communities they serve.

The programme has seen some interesting and heartening results so far, with trainees saying they now have a better understanding of the various legislation, and as a result have adopted new techniques in their personal, community and work contexts, says lead facilitator Jean Mitaera.

“We focus on the key definitions and types of violence; relevant legislation and their various scope(s) of responsibility,” the registered social worker and current Chief Advisor Pacific Strategy for Whitireia and WelTec says.

This is important because it develops a working knowledge of the limitations, extent and application of these laws given the type of violence ranging from intimate partner violence, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, elder abuse and or child abuse.

Secondly the programme looks at the effect family violence has on Pacific families and communities, including the social, economic and political impacts.

This is a free and accessible programme for people who not only work in the area of family violence, but also for those who have influence over our families and communities.

An ethnic-specific element of the programme is informed by the eight ethnic-specific Nga Vaka o Kāinga Tapu Conceptual Frameworks.

First mooted at the Champions of Change Fono in 2010, where over 500 participants spoke out against family violence in Pacific families and communities.

The group called for government and funders to look within Pacific cultures to develop targeted family violence programmes when working with Pacific families.

The Nga Vaka o Kāinga Tapu framework considers the cultural knowledge, skills and tools inside each of those Pacific ethnic groups and how these can be used to support practitioners and families, restore confidence among victims of family violence and change the behaviour of perpetrators.

The ethnic-specific programmes provide participants with an in-depth insight into cultural approaches to achieving family wellbeing, and are not limited to family violence.

“Pacific cultures in NZ are often talked about in social service settings as having negative impacts, emphasising blame,” Jean says.

“However, these particular family violence programmes supported by the Ministry of Social Development actually say the answers for Pacific people are often within our own cultures.”

2018 Pacific Family Violence Training Programme upcoming sessions:

KĀIGA MĀOPOOPO: Tokelau Family Violence Training 
Where: Hutt Valley, Wellington
When: May 16, 17 and 18 

FOFOLA E FALA: Tongan Family Violence Training 
Where: Manukau, Auckland
When: May 30, 31 and June 1 

TOKU FOU TIALE: Tuvalu Family Violence Training 
Where: Porirua, Wellington
When: June 14, 15 and 16

FAKATUPUOLAMOUI: Niue Family Violence Training 
Where: Auckland
When: June 21, 22 and 23 

VUVALE DOKA SAUTU: Fiji Family Violence Training 
Where: Auckland
When: TBC 

BOUTOKAAN TE MWEERAOI: Kiribati Family Violence Training 
Where: Manukau, Auckland
When: July 19, 20 and 21 

O LE TOFA MAMAO: Samoan Family Violence Training
Where: Auckland
When: July 25, 26 and 27   

To register, visit HERE or email Akesa Filimoehala-Burling (Programme Manager, Pacific Family Violence Training Programme) akesa.fb@acit.org.nz.