Principle 5: Culturally informed and resourced 

Services provide inclusive supports that are responsive and culturally safe for diverse communities.

  • The worldview of Tāngata Whenua is respected. The development of Tikanda or Kaupapa Māori services are supported, at the same time as mainstream services are as culturally safe for Tāngata Whenua as possible.
  • The diverse ethnic and other cultural needs of survivors of sexual violence are acknowledged, and met as well as possible through cultural awareness developed through relationship and resourcing at both local and national levels.
  • The development of ethnic-specific responses to sexual violence is supported.
  • The particular needs of children and young people are catered to in the ways that we design and develop services.

Sexual violence can happen to anyone, but, due to the nature of perpetration, those who are not of the dominant social or cultural group, or are isolated, or are unable to tell are more likely to be perpetrated against.  They may also face greater barriers to accessing services and justice.  We aim to be able to provide as good a service as possible to everyone who needs and wants it.

  • “Staff should be culturally responsive and respectful in all aspects of their practice” [1]

  • Optimum service delivery would involve the choice to use culturally specific services, where survivors can be supported in their own language and through practices which reflected the beliefs and practices of their culture with regard to relationships, harm and healing.   Such cultural resourcing is of particular importance in this field due to both the wide variations in the ways that societies respond to and manage sexual violence and its impacts, along with the degree of harm which can be caused by sexual violence.

  • Current service availability means that there are actually few choices for such culture-specific service delivery. While supporting and advocating for the development of Kaupapa Māori services, mainstream services need to provide services, which meet the needs of our culturally diverse population as well as possible. [2]

  • A focus of this second round of development was to expand the cultural reach of the guidelines through providing resources to increase the capability of services to respond appropriately to the cultural diversity of survivors, referred to as “inclusive practice guidelines”. This refers to “responsiveness and cultural sensitivity to diversity”. These guidelines provide crucial information and knowledge of appropriate and safe practices (for frontline staff and services) to improve the experiences of victims/survivors from the following communities and cultures:

  • Māori
  • People from Pacific communities
  • Men
  • People from the  LGBTI+ community
  • Muslim women
  • People with Disability
  • People from Asian communities

  1.  Eckert, R. Good Practice Principles for working with refugee women experiencing domestic violence, In ‘Improving responses to refugees with backgrounds of multiple trauma: pointers for practitioners in domestic violence sexual assault and settlement services’., p.12
  2. Te Wiata, J., & Smith, R. (2016). Working with Maori survivors of sexual violence.  A project to inform Good Practice Responding to Sexual Violence – Guidelines for mainstream crisis support services for survivors (round 2).  TOAH-NNEST.