25 Apr 2024

'Bible is often misinterpreted to justify family violence' - lecturer

From , 6:02 am on 25 April 2024
Bible with miniature crown of thorns casting a heart-shaped shadow

Photo: Pixabay

A Pacific lecturer completing her master's degree in social work, is diving into a thesis addressing the misinterpretation and misuse of Biblical scriptures to gain power and control in relation to family violence.

New Zealand is ranked as the worst developed country in the OECD for family violence. 

Genevieve Sang-Yum is of Samoan and Chinese heritage and has run family violence programmes for Māori and Pasifika female victims and perpetrators. 

She says she's concerned by the growing number of Pasifika men who migrate to New Zealand and have used bible verses to justify committing acts of domestic violence against their partners.

RNZ Pacific's Eleisha Foon spoke with Genevieve Sang-Yum about her work in helping men reframe how they view scripture, instead of weaponising it to justify violence within families.

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