Rebuilding lives : intimate partner violence and Kiribati mothers in New Zealand : a cooperative inquiry : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philsophy in Social Work at Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand
This study explores strategies to rebuild lives as a result of intimate partner violence experienced by Kiribati migrant mothers in New Zealand through cooperative inquiry. Cooperative inquiry is a modality of participatory action research (PAR) based on people examining their own experience and action with those who share the same life experiences (Heron, 1996). It is also concerned with re-visualizing understanding of the world as well as transforming practice within it. As a result of working through an agreed set of actions, this process has empowered personal strength and courage for all those who took part, including myself.
The method of cooperative inquiry is to be both a researcher and a participant and it does research with people but not on people. It is not about confirming or validating previous theories or hypotheses. It is about being deeply engaged with the human situation and inquiry initiated on a common interest shared by the group of participants.
All participants, including the researcher, were Kiribati migrant mothers who have been violence free for at least two years. We all worked together as co-participants in this research project. The inquiry was underpinned by the Pacific Framework Talanoa with the Kiribati cultural context, aided by Te Itera model designed by the author.
Key results are significant as they venture to restore and strengthen intimate partner relationships for Kiribati families residing in New Zealand. It contributes knowledge to social agency interventions regarding Kiribati families and their children and provides insights to future immigrants to New Zealand. Research participants also suggest that through being involved in a genuine research, they developed strength and courage commitment within their own extended families, communities and social connections in increasing awareness and education to alleviate intimate partner violence specifically targeting young families.