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 behavior and remembered as a youngster, her father 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 father had suffered historical sexual abuse as a 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 learned 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.”