Sex therapy with a Māori world view

Some inmates in New Zealand are receiving sex therapy through a unique Māori programme run by Manuera Life Development that uses Māori mythology to help them overcome historical sexual abuse.

Māori mythology is being used through the Morehu Tukino Warrior programme to help inmates with the healing process.

Manuera Life Development Services Co-facilitator Wi Waikari says, “We try and demystify some of the wrongs and the rights so they can have a better stance of where to do to next.”

Inmates that have been sexually abused in the past are given a helping hand to change their lives.

“A lot of these female prisoners that we're working for if you think about it. They've been involed in sexual things all their lives and  a lot of it has been illegal so there has been a lot of molestation and all that kind of stuff.”

Manuera Life Development Services Director Jenny Manuera, “It helps and assists prisoners to be able to see the correlation and how relevant their historical abuse has impacted on perhaps their offending.”

The 12-week programme tackles the impacts of colonisation on the sexual habits of today and promotes discussing sexuality openly and in a traditional Māori context.

“It's about bringing understanding and clarification around the impact and then being able to think about the different strategies that can assist them with more of a wholeness.”

Reducing recidivism is the ultimate goal and the programme aims to give inmates the tools to lead a new positive phase in their lives.