Experiences and support needs of the Pacific sexual violence workforce in Aotearoa New Zealand

This study investigated the experiences and support needs of the Pacific sexual violence (SV) workforce in Aotearoa New Zealand. This work was commissioned as part of a work programme on the Budget 2019 investment in SV services.

To ensure that the research scope, findings and recommendations are fit for purpose for the Pacific communities they aim to serve, the research was competed by Pacific peoples for Pacific peoples in partnership with the Te Ohaaki a Hine National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST) Pacific Steering Group, the University of Auckland, the University of Waikato, and Tapasā mo Aiga.

This is the first time the Pacific SV workforce has been the sole focus of research, and the results show a workforce who is committed, highly qualified, and dedicated to their work, but who feel isolated from each other and in need of greater cultural and clinical-based support.

Findings and Future Considerations

Key findings show that to best serve Pacific peoples affected by SV it is necessary to centre Pacific values, models, frameworks and languages in SV workforce development, and service design and commissioning activities. The Pacific SV workforce are fundamental to ensuring and delivering this. Their expertise should be utilised, valued, and compensated as this work progresses.

The research demonstrates the necessity of partnering with a Pacific team using Pacific research and evaluation methodologies to truly understand the experiences of Pacific peoples.

There are several opportunities for government agencies and the SV sector to better support Pacific workers in the SV sector. The research recommends that key improvements include supporting the emerging national Pacific SV workforce network to bring the Pacific SV workforce together from across the sector and reviewing the impacts of current processes of state funding, reporting, evidence-building, and evaluation on Pacific SV practitioners and Pacific peoples affected by SV.

The Ministry of Social Developments extends its deepest gratitude to the contracted research team, Pacific Steering Group advisors, and participants from the Pacific sexual violence workforce for enabling this research project to happen.

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