Partnering to prevent family violence and sexual harm in Pasifika communities
Addressing the root causes of family and sexual violence in Pasifika communities is the principal goal of the Atu-Mai violence prevention programme, run by Le Va in collaboration with the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).
In early 2023, Le Va strengthened its partnership with ACC, having worked together to equip Pasifika young people and their families with the knowledge and skills to live violence free since 2018.
As the foremost of sixteen partners, Le Va is spearheading a regional primary prevention initiative in Tāmaki Makaurau, anchored in ACC’s Manini Tua strategy.
General Manager of Le Va, Dr Elizabeth Mati, said, “Le Va will employ our expertise to cultivate community mobilisation for tauiwi in Tāmaki Makaurau. Our experience and partnerships mean we are well placed to offer valuable perspectives and insights on priorities and primary prevention of family and sexual violence.”
In her capacity as Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Sexual Violence, Hon Marama Davidson visited Le Va on 27 September to learn more about the joint efforts of the two organisations.
Joined by Kwain Auelua, ACC’s Injury Prevention Partnered Delivery Manager, and Liz Tanielu, Te Puna Aonui Chief Advisor – Pacific, they discussed the exciting future of Atu-Mai and the initiative’s continued impact.
Le Va’s Chief Executive, Denise Kingi-‘Ulu’ave, stressed to Minister Davidson the need to have a concerted focus on child sexual abuse. “Sexual violence against children is a taboo subject in many of our Pasifika communities. We want to ensure that all of our children are safe and supported to live free from abuse, and we urge the incoming government to have the courage to address this issue head on,” she said.
Following the talanoa session, Mr Auelua said he and his team had benefitted from learning alongside Le Va for more than five years. “Our relationship is the true definition of a relational partnership, we’ve moved from transactional to transformational.”
Dr Mati added, “We are grateful to ACC for funding our Atu-Mai programme and for supporting our Pasifika communities to find their own solutions to stop violence. We know that we must invest in primary prevention to stop harm before it begins, and today we took a significant step towards building safer communities.”