Report highlights Samoan culture to counter violence
New Zealand's Minister of Women says she hopes service providers can learn to use Samoan culture to help prevent violence against Samoan women in New Zealand communities.
New Zealand's Minister of Women says she hopes service providers can learn to use Samoan culture to help prevent gender based violence within Samoan families in New Zealand communities.
A new report released by the Ministry for Women aims to give a Samoan perspective to the problem of violence against women and girls and to find solutions.
It highlights key prevention strategies that already occur and discusses Samoan approaches for trying to end violence.
Louise Upston spoke to Koroi Hawkins.
LOUISE UPSTON: Well the key thing was really to engage Samoan youth but to have conversations that are across the generations. Some of the suggestions included very active social media, the use of Samoan proverbs, so actually using the unique part of their culture to tell stories and send messages and to have specific programmes for men that bring in the Fa'a Samoa culture and values as part of that program.
KOROI HAWKINS: And what do you hope the report will achieve within the Samoan communities?
LU: Well the intention is twofold a part of it is generating the conversation in families and communities so that there is a better understanding of the sorts of things that girls and women say make them feel unsafe. And then on the other side of it the sorts of things that others can do to help them feel better protected. Then another part of it is we want the research to be used by those who are working to deliver services as well as for those who are setting policies to really consider what is unique or different in the Samoan community that will mean better outcomes for Samoan girls and women.
KH: Were any of the findings of the report surprising or unexpected and if so why?
LU: I guess one of the things is there was some of this information that we sort of had anecdotally but to be able to actually undertake research that confirmed some of the findings and really looking at what are some of the cultural practices and where are the misunderstandings currently occurring and how do we actually use the richness of the Samoan culture to keep more girls and women safe within their community.
KH: Are there any plans to do a similar studies for some of the other Pasifika or even the non Pasifika minority groups?
LU: Well earlier this year we launched a report in the Maori community and then the Samoan community was selected next because, of the Pacific women, the largest group of women are Samoan and we believe that their will be some of the learnings from here that can translate into other Pacific communities. We really believe that what we have found out in these two research studies today around primary prevention will be able to translate to keep more women safe.
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