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'Brown Bag' Social Sciences Seminar


A lunchtime Social Sciences seminar

Start Date

8 Nov 2019 12:00 pm

End Date

8 Nov 2019 1:00 pm


Via video link to Rm L172, School of Social Sciences, Newnham campus, and Rm A119, Cradle Coast campus.

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Strengthening policing in the Pacific: Community and police perceptions in Tuvalu

Loene Howes and Lyndsay Newett, University of Tasmania

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. This study aimed to examine the perceptions of police officers and community members about how police officers can best contribute to addressing family violence among other types of offences. Drawing from a larger mixed-methods project, this study focuses on data from interviews with community members (n = 69) and police officers (n = 17) from eight of Tuvalu's nine islands. 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.

'Brown Bag' is a series of lunchtime seminars held at the University of Tasmania. Hosted by Professor Can Seng Ooi (Cultural and Heritage Tourism, School of Social Sciences), Dr Susan Banks, (Senior research Fellow, Institute for the Study of Social Change) and Gerry Smith (PhD candidate, School of Social Sciences), it is a friendly space where academics may present their research to their colleagues and friends, and engage one another in cross-disciplinary discussions. The seminars are open to everyone, including from outside the School of Social Sciences.

For more information and to keep up to date with the latest announcements, join the Brown Bag Facebook group

This free seminar series is presented by the School of Social Sciences and the Institute for the Study of Social Change. All welcome. Feel free to bring your lunch.