“We want to equip Pasifika young people and their families with the right knowledge and tools to live free from violence and sexual harm.”
On Wednesday 4 July, Le Va, supported by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), launched Atu-Mai, New Zealand’s first national violence prevention programme for Pasifika young people.
Atu-Mai supports Pasifika young people and their families to be confident and resilient, and experience healthy and safe family and social relationships. Le Va is taking an educational focus and skills-based approach aiming for behavioural change across generations.
Le Va’s research over two years has identified the underlying conditions, risk factors and protective factors for violence, that are unique to Pasifika young people and different from the risk factors for the general New Zealand population.
Chief executive for Le Va Dr Monique Faleafa says, "Violence can scar the lives of individuals and families for decades. When our young Pasifika people are exposed to violence, they are at increased risk of a range of behavioural, physical, emotional and mental health problems, including being at higher risk of suicide and a victim and or an offender of further violence.
"This new service is a violence prevention programme that supports Pasifika young people to be confident and resilient, and experience healthy family and social relationships.
"Atu-Mai will focus on enhancing factors that provide protection from violence and reduce the likelihood of being a victim or offender of violence in the first place."
"We want to equip Pasifika young people and their families with the right knowledge and tools to live free from violence and sexual harm. Atu-Mai is not a campaign, we’re taking an educational focus and skills-based approach aiming for behavioural change across generations," says Dr Faleafa.
Le Va will work with ACC, Pasifika young people, community groups, their expert advisory group and other organisations to ensure a coordinated approach.
"We know that we all need to take collective responsibility and work together to tackle this challenge head on, and we’ll be complementing existing programmes and reinforcing support services to ensure prevention at all levels," says Dr Faleafa.
For more information about Atu-Mai go to www.leva.co.nz/atumai.