Manukau Courier : March 13th 2014
8 MANUKAU COURIER, MARCH 13, 2014 NEWS www.stuff.co.nz Research will help women rebuild lives Lydia Teatao was into her second year of a social work degree before she felt able to seek help for her own violent relationship. Now a social worker for Iosis Family Solutions in Manurewa, Mrs Teatao is conducting unique research she hopes will empower abused women to rebuild their lives. The project is for her masters in social practice. She will start next month with a small group of Kiribati migrant mothers, all of whom have been violence-free for at least two years. Her goal is to explore the strategies the women have used to re-establish safety and confidence for themselves and the children. The results can then inform both Kiribati women and the social services who work with them. Mrs Teatao migrated to New Zealand from Kiribati in 2006 and was initially unaware of the domestic violence support available here. Even when she did learn about it, like many women she was fearful of what would happen to her family if she reported her husband. ‘‘It’s regarded as a cultural thing. In Kiribati women are expected to be treated like that, to be ‘disciplined’, especially if the wife has dis- Special project: Social worker Lydia Teatao hopes her research will serve as inspiration forwomenand children who suffer from abuse. obeyed or has gone against the man’s decision. ‘‘Because no-one told us when we came to New Zealand that we could seek help through social services or the police, we just kept the ways we practised before. ‘‘When I finally reported the incidents that happened to me here in New Zealand, I realised the authorities Introducing Fairfax Marketing Services: The full circle marketing solution for ADWORDS PREMIER SME PARTNER accepted me and were supportive. My husband was involved with the counselling too. I think that’s how our life changed.’’ Today the Teatao house- hold is a peaceful one and Mr Teatao supports his wife undertaking the research. He has even advised her on how to get the male perspective and buy-in from the husbands of the women involved in the study. The Kiribati community in New Zealand is small – about 2100 people, according to the 2013 Census, with the largest concentration in Auckland. In such a tight-knit community, speaking out is difficult. Mrs Teatao believes she was the first Kiribati woman in New Zealand to report domestic violence, a move that took considerable courage. The closeness of the community dictated that, for objectivity, the research should be conducted with women living outside Auckland and not from the same Kiribati island as Mrs Teatao. ‘‘I truly wish this research will serve as inspiration for many women and children who suffer from abuse,’’ she says. ‘‘Hopefully it will reduce the amount of violence experienced by Kiribati families in New Zealand, and in Kiribati.’’ Mrs Teatao is now fundraising to pay for research costs, which include travel to group meetings in Hamilton and a koha for the participants. ❚ Contact her at lydia.teatao@ iosis.org.nz if you would like to support the research. Local Leads. Real Results. Stories of hope: American journalist Rachel Reeves is visiting Auckland to talk with Cyclone Martin survivors. Photo: NIGEL MOFFIET Business Websites Mobile Search Engine Optimisation Email Marketing Social Media Cyclone survivors sought By NIGEL MOFFIET Search Engine Ads Reputation Management Business Listings Newspaper Ads Online Ads p 0800 123 664 e email@example.com w fairfaxmarketingservices.co.nz It’s not easy talking about destroyed homes and loss of life but Rachel Reeves is hoping sharing the stories might help. The American journalist works in the Cook Islands and is visiting Auckland to talk to Cook Island families affected by Cyclone Martin – the 1997 storm that was one of the deadliest to hit the region. Stories shared will be made into a book which has been commissioned by the Cyclone Martin Charitable Trust. The trust is made up of some survivors, and proceeds will go back to the badly hit island of Manihiki. ‘‘We’re trying to create a record in the form of narrative journalism . . . to chronicle and document the stories of survival and courage and to document the mistakes and failures of the initial response,’’ Ms Reeves says. Recording the mistakes made during the response is an important step in ensuring they won’t happen again, she says. Despite the tragedy, the ‘‘resili- ence’’ of the Cook Island community has been outstanding. Above all, they are stories of ‘‘hope and overcoming’’, she says. ❚ Call Ms Reeves on 021 212 1741 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to take part in the project.
March 11th 2014
March 14th 2014