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Pacific leaders call for end to family violence

Media release
29 November 2007


Pacific leaders call for end to family violence

Pacific leaders are calling on their communities to work together to help put an end to violence within their families.

Today at the Pacific launch of the It’s Not OK campaign the Families Commission said community leadership and involvement is needed to raise public awareness and understanding of family violence.

The Families Commission, with the Ministry of Social Development is leading the Campaign for Action on Family Violence (It’s Not OK).

At the Pacific launch Commissioner Sandra Alofivae said “we all want a society that is very clear that no family violence is ok.”

“Family violence involves any type of behaviour that makes someone in your family afraid of you. It is not ok to yell at your kids, it’s not ok to intimidate your elderly parents, it’s not ok to hit anyone. But it is ok to seek help - from friends families and local services,” said Commissioner Sandra Alofivae.

She said violence can happen within any family however risk factors include the use of alcohol and drugs, financial hardship and other stress.

Research studies show that Pacific people accept violence as part of family life and appear to tolerate quite harsh physical discipline of children.

In 2004 a study of a thousand new Pacific mothers showed over the previous year nine out of 10 had experienced verbal aggression from their partner, over a third reported “minor” physical violence and one in five suffered “severe” violence.

“It is vital that as Pacific people, we support and encourage each other to change our attitudes, behaviour and tolerance to family violence and that we know how to offer, and to seek help,” she said.


ENDS

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