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Mäori Women Benefit From Protected Persons Program

Mäori Women Benefit From Protected Persons Programmes

22 August 2002
For immediate release

Research released today by the Ministry of Justice shows that Mäori women are benefiting from programmes, designed by and for Mäori, to help Mäori women deal with the effects of domestic violence.

The research concludes a series of evaluations commissioned by the Ministry of Justice and Department for Courts to examine the impact of the Domestic Violence Act 1995.

“These evaluations, together and separately, serve to inform us of the effectiveness of the Act,” said Warren Young, Deputy Secretary Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in the Ministry of Justice. The Domestic Violence Act 1995 provides for support programmes for those whose lives are affected by domestic violence and who have Protection Orders under the Act.

“Interviews with participants in these programmes show that a Kaupapa Mäori approach to domestic violence has proven highly successful.

“Participants say that important aspects of the programmes are about being listened to, not being judged, being accepted and being able to share their experiences with other Mäori women who had similar experiences.”

The two programmes that were evaluated are:
 Tü Tama Wahine o Taranaki in New Plymouth, which works with groups and individuals, and includes a children’s programme linked with the Adult Protected Persons programme.
 Te Whare Ruruhau o Meri in South Auckland, which provides a range of support services to whänau.
“These programmes recognise the role of collective community responses to the position of Mäori women and whänau within communities,” Dr Young said.
Developed by Mäori they feature three principles:
 Te reo Mäori me ona tikanga (valuing tradition and culture)
 Kaupapa Mäori solutions
 Individual as well as collective healing.

“While the evaluation showed that Mäori women were highly satisfied with these programmes, it has revealed barriers for some women wishing to attend them, such as transportation and child-care access. The need for long-term, ongoing support for women was also highlighted.”

Key government strategies, such as Te Rito New Zealand Family Violence Prevention Strategy and the Crime Reduction Strategy, will address the need for ongoing support for victims of domestic violence.

Since the research was undertaken, the Department for Courts has made improvements to its referral processes to enable easier access to the programmes. In addition, a review of the regulations which govern the programmes has been undertaken to make it easier to respond to the need for specialist programmes, such as those for Mäori and Pacific Protected Persons.
“We want to help government and communities provide a safe context in which to empower Mäori Adult Protected Persons. Our goal is to help individuals, whänau and communities to become free from domestic violence,” said Dr Young.


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