Latu To’omaga - how violence affects a child's development

In an interview with domestic violence campaign It's not Okay educator and presenter for the Brainwave Trust Latu To’omaga discussed the development of a child’s brain and how violence can have a major impact on those children who grow up around it. Watch the interview and remember to treat all our family members, young and old, with love and respect.

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Latu talks about how a child's genetics and experiences right from birth, whether it be good or not good affects their future.

So if a child grows up in a household or in a space where there's violence, or harm, whether it be physical, emotional, harsh punishment, neglect or by witnesses violence, a child would feel fear and feel unsafe.

A child will respond from a negative perspective and their stress response system becomes compromised, meaning they can't handle stress healthily.

It also compromises a child's ability to form healthy relationships if they have not had good examples of what healthy relationships look like.

The interview can be found in full  HERE or in the link above.


As we continue to self-isolate for a few more weeks under COVID 19 Alert Level 4 and 3, it is important that we continue to keep our families, children safe in our homes.

Some Pacific families may be feeling vulnerable, remember that family violence support services are available during the COVID 19 Level 4 Alert lockdown. For emergencies please Dial 111.

Click here for resources and links to available service providers.

Pasefika Proud is a Pacific response to focus on community-led solutions that harnesses the transformative power of traditional Pacific cultural values and frameworks to encourage violence-free, respectful relationships that support Pacific peoples to thrive and to build strong resilient families.