StandingTallNZ: An Indigenous Psychology Approach to Developing an E-health Website to Support Māori & Pacific Men, Their Support People and Community Groups Affected by Male Childhood Sexual Violence
In Aotearoa / New Zealand, sexual violence is a topic clouded in misinformation, fear, and stereotypes. Approximately 1 in 6 males in the general population will have experienced sexual violence in their lives. For Māori males, it is approximately 1 in 4 and Pacific males 1 in 5. With these high rates of sexual violence, how can we support Māori and Pacific men coming forward using online technology when they are ready? The solution to this question came from thirty men who identified as being both Māori and Pacific ethnicities known in this research as "bros." All the bros had been sexually abused as children. I asked them questions exploring themes around using current online technology and how it assisted or hindered getting the right kind of help for their specific needs in dealing with their childhood sexual violent trauma. I then asked fifteen support people (using semi-structured interviews) and thirty-five health and social professionals from four organisations (via focus groups) what they would want in a website to support themselves and their whānau / clients. As a result, eighty people in these key groups participated. I then worked with forty-two experts from the social, health, and design sectors to lend their expertise and knowledge when themes surfaced in their specialised areas. This led to 122 people being involved in the doctoral research. As a result of completing a Format Three: Creative pathway, a simple and easy to access website and online media platforms called StandingTallNZ.org have been created. StandingTallNZ.org was a name gifted by a Māori elder who themselves had also been affected by childhood sexual violence. The aim of the website and the resources developed is to connect with individuals, support people, and community organisations across Aotearoa, New Zealand, affected by childhood sexual violence. This doctoral work was recognised in 2020 when StandingTallNZ.org was a finalist in the Public Good Category at The Designers Institute of New Zealand Awards.
This academic work has been underpinned by Te Ao Marama's framework, a seven-stage framework that I created as part of my second Masters's in Health Practice (Stevens, 2014). The purpose of Te Ao Marama was to support people affected by sexual violence. I wanted to apply it in this document and understand its effectiveness in understanding sexual violence within an academic context. Throughout the doctoral research, I describe this framework in more detail as Te Ao Marama is central to how this report and work completed has been written and created. This doctoral report describes how all this work was achieved and the stages taken. It can be thought of as the companion piece to the StandingTallNZ.org website & resources available online.