Family violence initiatives and Pacific men: literature review
This report provides a literature review to identify existing family violence initiatives that specifically target men to improve their health and overall wellbeing.
There are two broad objectives of this report.
First, to identify family violence strategies and initiatives from the United States, Canada, Australia, Hawaii, the South Pacific region and New Zealand that improve the role of Pacific men in strengthening Pacific families.
Second, to provide insights about initiatives that could be useful and adaptable for Pacific men in New Zealand.
A systematic literature review methodology was used to search, assess and integrate relevant literature between 1992 and 2016. A total of 120 sources were used in the report: 31 journal articles, 57 reports, 13 books, two theses and 17 websites.
The findings from the review identified various approaches to family violence initiatives across the globe and the Pacific region. This report emphasises the need to incorporate an overarching approach to family violence prevention that targets Pacific men in New Zealand and uses a combination of Feminist, Indigenous and Pacific approaches.
The benefits of including these approaches underline the importance of women’s rights that enable the voices of women and children to be heard, encourage decolonisation, restoration and reclamation of traditions and values, and address the effects of migration, displacement and loss of traditional support structures while taking into consideration the heterogeneity of Pacific ethnic groups.
This overarching approach aligns with practices that focus on violence prevention, cultural appropriateness and the engagement of men. In any violence prevention initiative it is important to prioritise these features equally. Choosing only one feature to prioritise, at the expense of the others, can hinder meaningful access to such services by Pacific men. This poses a barrier to male engagement and service delivery that is undermined by the adverse social constructions of masculinity and patriarchal paradigms that promote violence. Exploring how these ideals can be changed to promote a more non-violent society is vital.
The strengths of the report can be seen in the use of the systematic approach that required a robust process of literature search and review. The inclusion of international literature and international initiatives meant that practices that were deemed effective abroad could be adapted and applied to Pacific men in New Zealand. To ensure the effectiveness of such initiatives, it is recommended that robust evaluation processes be used to evaluate implementation processes as well as outcomes. It is also essential that service providers and funding bodies jointly negotiate the desired outcomes of an initiative.
One limitation of the review was the scope of the type of violence that was investigated. Most of the literature and initiatives reviewed addressed genderbased violence, neglecting other forms of violence that occur within the family, such as elderly abuse and child neglect. Therefore, we recommend that future research on violence initiatives includes the reduction of other types of violence.