A Canterbury detective and her father along with another brave police officer are sharing their personal stories of family violence to highlight the importance of White Ribbon Day.
Detective Jaimie-Leigh Bergman’s parents separated when she was seven. Her father was a very angry man. He could be holding onto a glass and be triggered to the point where his bare hand crushed the glass, smashing it onto the floor.
She experienced psychological harm from his angry outbursts and psychologically abusive behaviour and remembered as a youngster, her dad walking out the door with packed bags and rarely seeing him after that.
Jaimie-Leigh was sent to Cholmondeley Respite Care Home for children in Christchurch when her parents separated. At that time, she didn’t know her dad had suffered historical sexual abuse as young child at an all-boys boarding school.
Jaimie-Leigh says it took many years to undo the harm from her childhood experiences.
“I had to rewire my brain away from an automated flight/fight response. But overcoming that trauma and being on the other side, the lessons I have learnt have made me who I am today and I wouldn’t change anything.
“I am very proud of my dad for having the courage to do the same thing because it isn’t easy and I hope this inspires many others to do the same as the rewards are phenomenal.”
You can read more about story here: https://www.police.govt.nz/news/ten-one-magazine/police-victims-shine-li...
Floyd Ormsby didn’t have the easiest of childhoods. The youngest of four, his mother passed away when he was only three years old. He was moved from household to household, suffering both physical and psychological abuse. He ended up at a boarding school for boys where he was sexually abused. Years later as an adult, he took out his hurt on his family.
But now 63, Floyd has turned his life around to become a respectful husband in his third marriage, and role model to young men and women.
“Just because you’re a victim doesn’t mean you have to be a perpetrator. There’s far more help there today than there was fifty years ago. Get help and get it early,” says Floyd.
Police officer ‘Charlotte’ (not her real name) has bravely shared her story and wanted to be openly identified, however for legal reasons she cannot. “The first punch he delivered shattered my forearm, then more and more punches followed. I covered my head as much as possible. Then his hands were around my neck and I was struggling to breathe.”
You can read ‘Charlotte’s’ story here: https://tenone.police.govt.nz/news/police-victims-shine-light-violence#c...
White Ribbon Ambassador and Commissioner of Police Andrew Coster commends the two police officers and Floyd for sharing their stories.
“Police officers are not immune from these types of experiences. We are part of the wider community and unfortunately that means some of our people will be victims of violence,” Commissioner Coster says.
“But hopefully by sharing their experiences, they will make it easier for victims of similar violence to come forward and seek help.
“Family violence is one of our country’s biggest problems. Te Puna Aonui, the collective of 10 government agencies of which Police are part of, are responsible for implementing Te Aorerekura - the National Strategy to Eliminate Family and sexual Violence. This signals our intent to eliminate this problem in Aotearoa New Zealand,” he says.
In the 2022 campaign, White Ribbon aims to flip the script of “boys will be boys” and focus on all the great qualities boys and men can demonstrate if that’s what they are taught.
This year it is encouraging dads, caregivers and mentors to speak to their children about these core issues – respectful relationships, consent and healthy masculinity.
We can all play a part in teaching boys to be caring, supportive, ethical, respectful, friendly, generous, and awesome, and reduce the amount of family violence in our community.
If you suspect someone close to you is a victim of family violence or feel something is not right, it’s okay to act on it – you could save a life. Call 111 or visit www.police.govt.nz/family-violence-help
Issued by Police Media Centre