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Location: New Zealand

Organization: Te Wānanga o Raukawa

Contact: mataora@twor-otaki.ac.nz
mataora.wananga.com “is for people who want to stop violence that they are seeing or experiencing, but who don’t want to rely on the police and courts, social workers or agencies to help. It uses a community-based approach to stop violence.” 

The website is a collaboration between Te Wānanga o Raukawa and Creative Interventions. It is based on the Creative Interventions toolkit: A practical guide to stop interpersonal violence. “This website will not tell you what to do or give you a process to follow.  The tools are intended to support you to work out how to respond to, end or prevent violence in ways most likely to be safe and successful.”

“The site contains information about interpersonal violence—where someone is hurting or has hurt someone else, and resources for people who want to end violence. Whether you have been or are being hurt, you are hurting someone, you care about those people or you see what is happening and want to help.”

There are four major sections for people who would like to start an intervention:
  • People who have been harmed
  • People who are causing harm
  • Community allies
  • Facilitators

Each section introduces the model and provides a distinct guide to navigate the phases of an intervention. For example, “For people who have been harmed:”

“Introducing the model: Every response to violence is different, this isn’t a step-by-step model to follow.  Your intervention (what you do to respond to violence) might be simple and short term, or longer and more involved.  You might only need one or two tools to work out what you are going to do, or you might work through all of the topics and tools.

You don’t need to read everything.  Find the tools or information that help you.

The purpose of this site is to support you to work out what to do and how to do it.  If it isn’t working for you, or if it is making things worse, you can stop at any point—even if you have asked people to help you.  Once other people are involved, it can be harder for you to control what happens, so thinking about who can help is very important (see Who can help).

You may want to print out some sections or tools to read or fill out later—if so, think about a safe place to keep them.  You may want to find someone who will go through this with you.  The information and tools on this site may be upsetting—think about when a good time is to read it and how you can look after yourself afterwards if needed.

We’ve noticed that responses to violence have four main phases, with a slightly different focus at each phase.  We’ve arranged the questions that people want help with into 8 topics.

Phases of an intervention: Phase 1. Getting Started; Phase 2. Planning; Phase 3. Taking Action; Phase 4. Following Up.”

In addition, there are the following pages: Real Life Stories, About The Toolkit, Violence Basics, F.A.Q.s, and Resources. The “Real Life Stories” section provides common scenarios of interpersonal violence. “F.A.Q.s” provides definitions and answers many general questions, including “Why is Te Wānanga o Raukawa involved?”

“The purpose of Te Wānanga o Raukawa is to contribute to the survival of Māori as a people.

Colonisation brought high rates of trauma and interpersonal violence, and the State has attacked Māori sources of safety and healing: tikanga and whānau (see He Whaipaanga Hou).  Interpersonal violence is now heartbreakingly common.

When the State’s criminal system (police, courts and prisons) is the only way to respond to violence, there are a number of effects:

  • We lose faith in ourselves to solve problems
  • Relying on the State makes it stronger, reinforcing colonisation and undermining tikanga
  • People who are being hurt do nothing about the violence because reporting it doesn’t help them—it often makes things worse, by bringing the State into their lives, destroying the life of the person hurting them (who may be their parent, their partner, or someone else they rely on and care about), and taking away the support they get from that person as well as their whānau and friends
  • People who are causing harm do nothing about their violence because the risks of admitting it (criminal conviction, risking job, access to children) are too great
  • Communities do nothing about violence, or side with the person causing harm to protect them from the criminal system.

All of this makes our communities less safe, and makes it harder for people to get the support they need.

Communities can’t heal while violence is still common.  Healing and decolonisation in Māori communities means stopping violence, disentangling ourselves from the State and re-connecting with tikanga (see Transforming Whānau Violence).  We need ways to respond to violence that strengthen our communities.

As a product of Whakatupuranga Rua Mano, Te Wānanga o Raukawa is committed to the well-being of its people and to rangatiratanga (self-determination).  Te Kawa o te Ako has been Te Wānanga o Raukawa’s response to problems including interpersonal violence.

We hope this website will help your community find its own solutions.”

Excerpted From: He Ara Mataora