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Wednesday, December 4 • 11:30am - 1:00pm

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Chair: Emily Keddell

Natalie Thorburn: Calling it trafficking: Looking past the silos to the truth

Young women who are subject to violence and are prostituted by their families or 'boyfriends' can rarely access the social and health services that they need. Typically occurring against a backdrop of ingrained suspicion about 'the state' and the potential risks and harm of seeking intervention, victims of domestic sex trafficking are routinely shut down when they attempt to voice the uneasy aspects of their experiences of victimisation. In part, this is due to a lack of a consistent national narrative about what constitutes trafficking and who constitutes a trafficking victim, but is also reflective of the siloing of services. Without a targeted service equipped to deal with all aspects of this experience, it falls to existing, often generalist practitioners to respond to support needs. This presentation draws on interviews with 16 young women and explores what these support needs are, and what barriers and opportunities there are to cross-sector work with victims.

Michelle Egan-Bitran: Supporting change on complex issues in complex environments: The role of religious institutions in addressing intimate partner violence and child abuse and neglect.

New Zealand has epidemic rates of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN). Calls for change often focus on the social sector, leaving the role of the religious sector less examined. Responding to this gap, this study explores New Zealand Catholic, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches’ religious leader’s perspectives on what helps or hinders their denomination in developing responses to IPV and CAN, and how these could be improved. Data analysis is in progress using thematic analysis informed by a complexity theory lens. This presentation focuses on the methodological and ethical positioning entailed in ‘researching up’ with ‘elites’ on a sensitive topic at a time of public and State gaze, critique and calls for justice regarding abuse within religious settings. The study demonstrates that respectful, relationally-based research can create spaces for religious leaders to explore complex issues such as IPV and CAN in a manner which supports institutional transformation and social justice.

Natalie Thorburn and Samara Welch: Not so romantic: Intimate partner stalking in Aotearoa New Zealand

​​​​New Zealand has been slower than most of the developed world to enact anti-stalking legislation, and its Harassment Act 1997 is rarely used, particularly for intimate partner offences. Despite the low conviction rate, however, the majority of IPV victims are subjected to some form of stalking by an intimate partner - an act made more possible by the proliferation of digital means to monitor and control victims and consequent removal of proximity as a precondition for stalking. This research draws on the experiences of over 700 victims of intimate partner stalking to construct a multi-domain model of stalking, and discusses current good practice for ensuring digital and physical safety for IPS victims, including working across agencies and state actors. 

Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.


Samara Welch

National Training and Professional Development Advisor, NCIWR

Wednesday December 4, 2019 11:30am - 1:00pm NZDT
206-201 - Lecture Theatre 1