Mick is one of our trainers, his experience relates directly to his NCDV colleague.
Paula is a fellow trainer and in charge of compiling these accounts for sharing. Paula and Mick have also been friends for many years
“Mine is easy to recall. It was the time when I first saw a video featuring the then DCI of the Police Public Protection Unit. This was at a time whilst I was working in Force Training, prior to my retirement. I was reviewing some material for an upcoming vulnerability training day.
In the video, the DCI spoke to three women about their personal experiences of Domestic Violence. The reason why this impacted so much upon me was, that one of the women was you Paula.
At this point, I hadn’t seen you for a few years, but I recognised you straight away. I remember you stating in the video, that you had now retired from the service. Needless to say, I listened intently to what then followed.
When I heard what you had to say about your experiences, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. You recalled instances of violence towards you by your ex-husband, that took place at a time when I was working with you every day, at a Police Station. You’ll remember we were beat officers there, at that time. We worked together a lot, so I saw a lot of you.
You’ll remember also, that some years later, we went on to work together at another Police Station on the Case Building Team. Again, I continued to see you on a daily basis.
We always got on well. We were close and we were always great friends. That makes what follows, all the worse.
I had no idea at all, of what you had gone through during this time of your life. I hated the fact that I never noticed any of it. Not one thing. I should have done. After all, I was a police officer. It was my job to know and yet, I didn’t. When I want to be kind to myself, I tell myself that you must have been very good at hiding it. However, I know this isn’t true. This caused me to reflect deeply on my own failings. I should have been there for you. I wasn’t. To this day, I carry the guilt of this around with me.
Prior to my own retirement from the police, I remember speaking with you on the phone. I can’t quite remember whether I called you or you called me. It doesn’t matter now. I do remember raising this matter with you at that time and apologising. You were gracious enough to say all the right things to make me feel better about myself – thank you! I do also remember the small matter of a (then) vacant training position with NCDV arising in the discussion. I distinctly remember telling you that I wasn’t interested; that I was retiring and that I wasn’t looking for work. However, in your own inimitable style, you persuaded me to speak with ‘some lovely people in Guildford’. As a favour to an old friend, I went along with it. I’m glad I did. The rest, as they say, is history.
Nothing will ever remove the sense of self-guilt that I know I will always feel about your situation. That will live within me, forever. However, I hope that if there is a greater power looking down on us from above, they take note of what I do today and understand that this is my small way of attempting to make amends and find inner peace.
Thank you, my friend.”