This project explored key healing practices and mātauranga Māori solutions for Māori sexual violence victims by interviewing whānau impacted by sexual violence, service providers, and selected key informants. A survey of 100 participants from around the country who have been impacted by sexual violence measured the impact of historical trauma.


Research outputs:

Whakarauora Tangata: Understanding and Healing the Impact of Sexual Violence for Māori
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Māori cultural definitions of sexual violence

Leonie Pihama, Rihi Te Nana, Ngaropi Cameron, Cherryl Smith, John Reid, and Kim Southey

Exploring definitions of sexual violence in Aotearoa highlights that on the whole such definitions are located within dominant Pakeha frameworks that do not provide adequately for understanding the context of sexual violence for Māori. As such Māori working in the area of healing the trauma of sexual violence have been developing frameworks which are enabling of culturally defined understandings and traditional knowledge as a basis by which to understand sexual violence in Aotearoa. Informed by te reo and tikanga Māori (Māori language and culture) Māori healers, social workers and health providers have moved beyond western definitions and have highlighted the link between acts of sexual violence and the violence of colonial invasion. This article explores Māori perspectives of the origins and impacts of sexual violence for Māori and advocates for Kaupapa Māori and decolonising approaches to be more fully supported and engaged in dealing with these issues within our communities.

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