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Strengthening policing in the Pacific: Community and police perceptions on the role of police in addressing gender-based violence

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 19:30 authored by Loene HowesLoene Howes, Watson, D
Decreasing gender-based violence is now firmly on the agenda of Pacific Island countries. This presentation focuses on Tuvalu, a multi-island Polynesian country. Previous research has documented limited participation of Tuvaluan women in decision-making roles, a degree of community acceptance of domestic violence, and patriarchal systems that result in limited access to justice for women. Drawing from a larger mixed-methods project, this study aimed to obtain Tuvaluan community members’ and police officers’ perceptions of how police can best contribute to addressing domestic violence. Community members (n = 69) and police officers (n = 17) from each island of Tuvalu engaged in interviews. Findings suggest that police officers recognise, and community members are open to, an important place for police in addressing domestic violence.This role is seen to include holding workshops to inform the community of relevant laws. However, participants’ accounts highlight various impediments to effective policing practices. The presentation discusses the nuanced and contextual challenges faced by police in their efforts to curb family violence in Tuvalu. It concludes with implications for practice and further research.



School of Social Sciences



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The Annual Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology Conference

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Law enforcement

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