Breaking the silence: a critical analysis of integrating a community level intervention model within a domestic violence public awareness campaign in New Zealand

Batistich, Christina
Devere, Heather
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Master of Communication Studies
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Auckland University of Technology

This thesis concerns domestic violence in New Zealand. Its aim is to help find effective ways of preventing domestic violence in our homes through community level public education/awareness interventions. Domestic violence has a damaging effect within a large number of New Zealand households; the primary aim of this thesis is to contribute research to the efforts in New Zealand directed at preventing domestic violence.This thesis situates domestic violence within both a sociological and theoretical framework as well as within the context of New Zealand public education campaigns. Central to this thesis is a critical analysis of one particular community level public education and awareness intervention that was implemented in the United States throughout the 1990s. The core community-level principles of this US project have been analysed with regard to the suitability of integrating them into a hypothetical domestic violence public awareness campaign in New Zealand (one that would aim to help victims seek appropriate help from their situation).This US community level intervention was called the AIDS Community Demonstration Project (ACDP), its aim being to increase HIV risk reduction behaviours amongst at-risk people within the community. It is acknowledged throughout this thesis that the risk of HIV infection and the nature of domestic violence are very different issues although both are key health issues. However, the analysis of the ACDP was chosen predominantly because of the broad community focussed principles that it followed. The core research question of this thesis is as follows: Are the broad principles used within the ACDP suitable to be integrated into a victim-based domestic violence public awareness campaign in New Zealand? If so, to what extent? If not, why?My critical analysis has been informed by qualitative interviews with key experts in the field of domestic violence prevention in New Zealand. This critical analysis has highlighted a number of key elements in the complex task of domestic violence prevention and discusses the measures needed to sustain an abuse-free New Zealand.

Family violence , Prevention , Social Science
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