Pasefika Proud helps to dispel myths and common beliefs used as excuses for violence. It creates a social climate that normalises peaceful families and advocates for Pacific families to be violence-free. We support families to understand the impacts of violence, and the Pacific values and ethnic specific cultural practices that underpin strong peaceful families.
Pasefika Proud aims to provide clear and consistent messages about building strong Pacific families, preventing and addressing violence, and changing attitudes and behaviour.
It draws on the strengths of Pacific cultures and builds on positive actions already underway to support local, community-level change and action.
Myth 1: “Family violence such as physical punishment of children is considered normal and acceptable in Pacific societies”
The acceptance and use of physical punishment by Pacific parents has been attributed to not only custom but also the influence of urbanisation, poverty, and the rise of non-traditional nuclear family (Fairbairn-Dunlop & Makisi, 2004)
Myth 2: “It’s only abuse if you’re being physically beaten up”
Domestic violence as defined by the law includes psychological, emotional and sexual abuse too. These types of abuse are more common and widespread in abusive relationships and can be difficult to spot, but are equally as damaging as physical.
Myth 3: “Alcohol, drug abuse, stress, and mental illness cause domestic violence”
While these factors can impact on someone’s ability to be violent, the only thing that causes domestic violence is person’s choice. We all know people who drink, or may have a mental illness, but choose not to be violent.
The facts on Pacific Family Violence
“I cannot tell you the amount of times that I’ve stood in hospitals, holding the hands of young mothers who would say to me, ‘I just wish it was over … I just wish he’d done it this time’. What goes on in those homes, when mothers no longer have the fight in them to stay around to look after their own children?” - Tusha Penny, NZ Police Superintendent and National Manager of Child Protection and Sexual Violence
“What is our gospel response to end the economic and employment disparities our communities face? What part can we play to alleviate the plight of the increasing number of the homeless, living on the streets or in their cars? And how might our theology engage with cultural assumptions about family violence, so that the dignity and wellbeing in our families are upheld? We are taught to love thou and thy neighbour. If there was ever a matter of Pacific people standing up to make a difference, as Jesus did, it was through the church. If there was ever a time to do so again, it is now.” - Rev Dr Tokerau Joseph, Reverend of the First Church of Otago