Chapter 5 — Stop Abuse Project

One of the crucial issues that each of our countries is having to work with is family violence. In generating responses to family violence in marginalised communities there are many questions:

  • How can we ensure that, in talking about this violence, it is always seen in the broader context of the violence of ongoing colonisation?
  • How can we create ways of working that are respectful of issues of gender and culture?
  • How can we delineate what are the host culture’s gender arrangements and what are marginalised culture’s gender arrangements?
  • Even where we can make these delineations we are left with dilemmas. If the gender arrangements of the marginalised culture have been so distorted, how can we look for the liberative elements?
  • How can we look for the elements within our own culture that support the respect and dignity of women and children?
  • How can we graft these from the past into the present?
  • Within the actual work on family violence there is for me one over-riding concern. Within the work, how can we find an equitable space for women – a place of respect and a place of safety?
  • How can we do this without buying into dominant western cultural notions?
    (extracted from Tamasese, 2003, p. 218)

The Stop Abuse Project is one project created by the Samoan community and the Family Centre that has inspired many other communities. In the following video, Tamailieutu Kiwi Tamasese explains this project. You can then also read a short paper about it.

Chapter 5 references

Tamasese, T. K. (2003). Stop Abuse Project. In C. Waldegrave, T. K. Tamasese, F. Tuhaka & W. Campbell (Eds.), Just Therapy – a journey. A collection of papers from the Just Therapy Team, New Zealand (pp. 217-221). Dulwich Centre Publications.

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