Child and youth voice research findings

Young Pacific people's understandings of family violence

AUTHOR: Ministry of Social Development | Malatest International

This research involved ten ethnic-specific focus groups and strengths-based talanoa (conversations) conducted in Aug-Sept 2019, and involved 71 young Pacific people. 

Key finding of the research included :

  • Young Pacific people’s worldviews were shaped by their Pacific identity, cultural values, beliefs and languages, and sense of belonging.
  • Young people are proud of being Pacific.
  • Young people connect to their culture and identity through their relationships
  • Their experiences of growing up in New Zealand strongly influenced their understandings, worldviews, identity and sense of belonging:
    • Young people are exposed to different societal experiences growing up in New Zealand
    • Young people embrace cultural values but experience cultural clashes
    • Young people establish their identity in a different environment from their parents
    • Young people are aware of different types of family violence and their impacts
    • Young Pacific people held mixed views about physical discipline and abuse and generally considered discipline acceptable when it was used to teach children a lesson, adequate warnings and reasoning were provided, and punishment was not excessive.
    • Young people commonly highlighted several barriers to help-seeking
    • Young people viewed gender roles and societal factors as risks for family violence
    • Young people identified elements that effective family violence prevention could encompass and promote
    • Building resilience was considered one way of preventing family violence and helping young people and families to overcome and cope with adversity.


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