Pacific Peoples, Violence, and the Power and Control Wheel

Jenny Rankine
Teuila Percival
Eseta Finau
Linda-Teleo Hope
Pefi Kingi
Maiava Carmel Peteru

This qualitative project was the first to study values and practices about sexual assault among migrant communities from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, and Tuvalu in New Zealand. It aimed to identify customs, beliefs, and practices among these ethnic groups that were protective and preventive factors against sexual violence. Researchers were ethnically matched with 78 participants from the seven ethnic communities, and conducted individual interviews and one female focus group using protocols that were culturally appropriate for each ethnic group. Interviews were thematically analyzed. The study identified the brother–sister covenant and the sanctity of women as strong protective and preventive factors against sexual violence, expressed differently in each culture. Most participants viewed sexual violence as involving their extended families, village, and church communities, rather than solely the individuals concerned. However, the communal values and practices of these seven Pacific cultures raise questions about the individualistic assumptions and the meaning of violence underlying the Power and Control Wheel and the Duluth Model of domestic violence. It also raises questions about how such an individualized model can help services effectively support women in these collective societies who are experiencing violence, and how it can contribute to Pacific community prevention of violence. This study is therefore relevant to countries with significant populations of Pacific peoples and other collective cultures.

Research Type(s)
Journal Article
Submitted by Toksave
March 24, 2021
Published in

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