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The Needs of Pacific Peoples As Victims of Crime

Media Release

Research report: The Needs of Pacific Peoples when they are Victims of Crime

12 May 2003

The Ministry of Justice has today released a report on The Needs of Pacific Peoples when they are Victims of Crime. The Health Research Council of New Zealand funded the project and Koloto & Associates Ltd undertook the research.

The research is a supplementary study to the New Zealand National Survey of Crime Victims 2001 (NZNSCV), also released today.

“Following the findings relating to Pacific victims contained within the New Zealand National Survey of Crime Victims 1996, justice sector agencies decided that an in-depth study of the needs of Pacific victims was a priority area for further research,” said Dr Warren Young, Deputy Secretary for Justice, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Group.

Interviews were carried out with Pacific victims of violence, family violence and property offences, amongst the six main Pacific ethnic groups.

The NZNSCV 2001 shows that Pacific people were just as likely as Europeans or people of ‘other’ ethnicity to experience any victimisation in 2000. However Pacific peoples were more likely than these groups to be exposed to repeated victimisation, particularly violent victimisation. Overall, Pacific participants experienced less victimisation than Mâori participants, but Pacific participants revealed very high levels of worry about victimisation. The larger sample of Pacific particpants in the NZNSCV 2001 means that these findings are more robust than from the smaller sample of the NZNSCV 1996.

“A key finding of the supplementary study on the needs of Pacific victims, was that victims of family violence were less likely than other victims in the Pacific community to seek medical attention for their injuries. These victims tended to deal with their injuries themselves, rather than seek professional medical attention”, said Dr Young.

One of the objectives of the research was to gather in-depth information about the use and appropriateness of informal and formal support services by Pacific peoples. More particularly, it was designed to identify what support mechanisms were in place to meet their health-related and other needs, and to establish where additional support might be required.

The most frequently used formal support services were Victim Support, medical centres or hospital emergency departments, and Pacific service providers.

“The study suggests that Pacific victims’ needs would be better met if victim support services were provided by Pacific for Pacific people, and if more Pacific people were employed within victim support and criminal justice agencies”, said Dr Young. Provision of, and access to, Pacific Social Services, and more Pacific staff in these services who could speak their language, was recommended as the most appropriate support by more than half of the participants. Participants required more information on support services available, and on the legal system.

“The research focuses on the experiences of Pacific victims of crime and is a valuable contribution to policy development and service provision for Pacific victims of crime”, said Dr Young.


Note: A copy of The Needs of Pacific Peoples when they are Victims of Crime is available on the web at http://www.justice.govt.nz

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