Family violence in homes can stem from an individuals inability to cope with stress and conflict in healthy ways. Those who have experienced family violence as a child may go on to repeat the cycle with their own children.
Community factors play a role. Patterns of social life have changed; people spend more time at work and connections between neighbours and families are weaker. Lack of adequate housing can create overcrowding (hence more stress on families) or greater mobility (families fail to form supportive networks).
Cultural expectations about how men and women relate to one another and how children should be disciplined influence peoples attitudes towards violence behaviours.
Traditional cultural beliefs about relationships between men and women can influence attitudes towards violent behaviour. Language difficulties, a reluctance to expose what is seen as a private matter, and in some cases fear of the Police means that family violence in these communities is underreported.
In our own Pacific communities, we need to examine the place/role of family violence in the context of yavusa / kainga/kaiga / magafoa / anau and aiga, and ask what has happened to respect and collective responsibility.
Take action by joining your local communities response to preventing family violence