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Culture: No excuse for abuse

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Sara Daneshvar

on 28 July 2014

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Transcript of Culture: No excuse for abuse

Culture: No Excuse for Abuse

About Shakti
Our Mission : to facilitate and ensure good health and overall well-being of New Zealand's migrant and refugee communities through culturally appropriate services within a culturally appropriate environment.
Struggle for Ethnic women in New Zealand
Forced and underage marriage
Forced marriage is marriage without free consent. Underage marriage designates the union of children (often girls) under the legal age
Forced marriage and underage marriage are the manifestation of communal ownership over the children as the marriage can be organised by any close members of the family. This practice is tradition; passed on through generations. As communal links and the notion of family honour are important in many ethnic communities, they are used as a power and control tool to force the girls to marry against her will
UN reports indicate top 10 countries with highest levels of early/child marriage are in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and parts of Middle East

Challenges for the sector

Actively unpack what is “ethnic”, in the work you do for yourself, in your organisation and who you choose to work with
Curtailing forced marriage is not through a single-approach to family violence
Think and practice intersectionality of race and gender in responding to women from diverse cultural backgrounds
Women of Asia, Africa and Middle Eastern origin need to collectively be driving social change for ourselves in New Zealand
Support us at Shakti to mobilise our communities and doing our bit to end violence against women in New Zealand

Contact us!
Sara Daneshvar
021 840 034

0800 SHAKTI (742 584)

Our Vision: to enable all immigrants to be fully integrated into New Zealand society in such a manner that they are able to live a life of dignity free from violence and are able to exercise their rights and responsibilities.
Ethnic Family Services

Shakti Legal Advocacy & Family Social Services Inc. offers settlement and social services for immigrant families in Greater Auckland region.
Casework and family support services include family violence awareness, prevention and intervention, couple counselling, family conferencing, legal advice and comprehensive support for immigrant youth.
Shakti Community Council Inc. was created in 1995 by African, Asian and Middle-Eastern women to service migrant and refugee women and children.
Shakti has five different centres across New Zealand, as well as four refuges and two centres in Australia.
Our services include: advocacy, domestic violence intervention services,
24-hour Crisis Call service for women in violent situations – 0800 SHAKTI (742 584), awareness and training programs for community advocates and volunteers, counselling & legal advocacy services, youth services, educational programs for women like English lessons, driving lessons and career development and NZQA accredited programs for migrants and refugees.

Abuses related to forced and underage marriage
The big picture: global to local
Connecting the big picture: local to national to global
Increased migration influx from Asia, Africa and Middle East in the last 10-15 years

Attitudes towards women and girls are not inherent but normalised and socialised values
Role of girls and women in Asia, Africa and the Middle East: private sphere, behavioural expectations, collectivist sacrifice, extension or property of parents or family, protecting ‘honour’
Inter generational, not just first generation migrants

Forms of sexual violence: female genital mutilation, marital rape, forced early pregnancy
Dowry abuse: girls are exchange for money, property or status.
Trafficking: marriage is used to facilitate the migration of relatives from their home country
Community pressure and honour-based violence: marriage is not just between two people, it involves the family and the community
Consequences of culturally-sanctioned violence
Mental health
Physical health
Reproductive health
Education and employment
Inter-generational cycle of violence
The Future: youth speaking out
Shakti's youth unit
Migrant and refugee youth is faced with specific challenges and need a support service
A group of youth workers volunteered set up Shakti first youth conference MYNZ in 2010
Casework to youth in refuge and outreach to domestic and family violence victims
Family Violence Prevention: Shakti Youth Ambassadors network (<25), youth mentoring
Presence in social media through Facebook and Twitter
Upcoming project
In association with Ministry of Social Development and It's Not Ok Campaign
Develop resources that will be specific to ethnic communities
Full transcript