29th April 2020
This blog was shared with us by Melani Morgan as part of our Reach In campaign. Find out more about the campaign and what to do if you're worried about someone.
During the period of time I was experiencing domestic abuse at home, I was working as a police officer. I recall a time when a colleague took me to one side and said 'we are all worried about you, and want you to know if you need help we will help you.' I remember being horrified that my colleagues had been talking about me in this way. You see for me work was where I had a sense of worth, something that I was good at, that he couldn’t spoil. I recall immediately saying I was ok and that they needn’t worry. Up until then I thought I was doing a great job covering up injuries and making excuses for them. It was such a shock that other people knew.
I didn’t escape the abuse then, but that person reaching in made me feel so much better because I knew that I had someone I could go to when I was ready to escape. At home he was saying 'no one will believe you because you are a cop and your career will be ruined.' Because of that colleague who reached in, I knew he was wrong. They would believe me and my career was not in jeopardy because I was still doing well in my job despite my abuse at home.
I did leave the marriage a while later and I sought help from a colleague to do so, taking my children to their home one day and not going home until it was safe to do so.
So for me, if you are a colleague of someone who you believe is being abused, ask them, say you will help. They may deny the abuse, say they don’t need help, but your offer will make them stronger in many ways. They will know inside they have an option, that they will be believed – and when they do escape the abuse it will be in part because you reached in.