The primary objective of this research was to understand better the realities of wāhine (women) Māori living with partner violence, from their perspective. More specifically the authors wanted to know how they kept safe and protect their tamariki (Maori children) when living in unsafe relationships and environments, with often limited resources and help.


  1.  The need for new ‘restoration’ narratives for wāhine, tāne (men) and tamariki that better reflect the multi-layered complexities wāhine living with violence navigate, all the while recognising the various ways in which wāhine are marginalised and excluded from accessing help. Ways that are unique to them as Indigenous women.
  2. The system and services generally need to re-focus on creating safe places and spaces that are genuinely welcoming and that have safe people who are willing to be non-judgmental, compassionate and empathetic.
  3. The findings also demonstrate the precarity for wāhine living with a partner who uses violence and the role systemic entrapment plays in narrowing the realistic options they have available.
  4. The need to strengthen and develop whānau (extended family networks), hapū (constellations of whānau) and hapori (communities). Those born into violence need support to find new ways of interacting and parenting that does not include violence – those with experiences of child and sexual abuse as young people need support and healing for their trauma.
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Auckland, New Zealand