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Barriers and supports to the access of justice as experienced by Pasifika women impacted by domestic violence

Domestic violence is a pervasive social issue in New Zealand with the majority of victims being women and children. 45-60% of Pasifika women are likely to experience violence in their lifetime. Despite the prevalence of domestic violence in Pasifika communities, Pasifika women have low rates of accessing services available to assist them to navigate themselves and their children to safety. My research is focused on identifying the barriers and supports as experienced by Pasifika women when attempting to access protection from their abusers and external agency support to deal with the impacts of abuse. Some identified barriers to accessing justice include lengthy court processes, lack of systemic knowledge, language difficulties, lack of knowledge about cultural differences and domestic violence by front line staff, religious values regarding marriage and the role of women and finding physical environments to be an alienating environment. Through a qualitative research frame, I have explored the impact that domestic violence has on Pasifika women. Interviews with two key informants have assisted me with identifying barriers and supports from a professional perspective. A case study approach with five Pasifika women has provided detailed accounts of their experiences as service users. Given the paucity of research on Pasifika women’s experiences, let alone conducted by a Pasifika woman, my research will contribute new insights with a view towards improving service delivery in the state sector and non-governmental services, ultimately ensuring the victim’s safety is paramount without further compromising identity and wellbeing.
Type of thesis
Gosche, J. (2017). Barriers and supports to the access of justice as experienced by Pasifika women impacted by domestic violence (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11624
The University of Waikato
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