As a Police recruit, Jaimie-Leigh struggled with unresolved childhood trauma of psychological and sexual harm.
It affected all her relationships, her mental and physical health, so during her initial training at the Royal New Zealand Police College (RNZPC) she embarked on a significant healing and wairua journey.
Now, 18 years later, Jaimie-Leigh is a detective in CIB, formerly of the Adult Sexual Assault (ASA) team, and she is speaking out on Breaking Silence, a documentary series that investigates the many faces of abuse victims in New Zealand.
In episode six of the current series of Breaking Silence – available to watch now - Jaimie-Leigh shares her experience and how she uses it to bring empathy and understanding to her work in the ASA team.
It is testament to the truth that dreams can come true, she says, and that your past need not dictate your future.
“I want to acknowledge the impact generational trauma can have on whānau and why this aspect is so important to break the family harm cycle."
What she discovered altered her life in such a way that she is now sharing some of her journey in the hope that it will inspire others who are struggling to believe that it is possible to dream big and achieve their goals.
“In my journey to wellness I’ve researched, experienced, read and trained in many different forms of healing modalities to overcome the adversity and negative emotions that I’ve been carrying and were holding me back,” she says.
“It is the commitment to change, to look within and do the emotional healing work, which takes courage, patience and fortitude but ultimately results in a more balanced way of life.”
Part of the healing process was returning - as a police officer, with Blue Light - to Cholmondeley Respite Care home for children, where she had spent time as a child after her father left the family when she was eight years old.
One child asked a staff member if it was true Jaimie-Leigh had been a child there and made the comment: “Then my dreams can come true”.
This, says Jamie-Leigh, was a pivotal ‘aha’ moment that encouraged her to share her story to guide others on their own healing pathway of change.
This is the third season of Breaking Silence, which is produced by Magnetic Pictures and streamed on Stuff.co.nz and Whakaata Māori Television. Watch episode six here, and below.
In 2021, Jaimie-Leigh was one of five police staff who did more than wear a white ribbon for White Ribbon Day.
In an incredibly brave move, Jaimie-Leigh and others shared their own experiences of violence, recalling deeply personal accounts as victims and shining a light on a dark part of their past. They did it in the hope that by sharing their stories, they would make it easier for other victims of violence to come forward and seek help. You can read all their stories, including Jaimie-Leigh's,here.