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09 June 2021

Senior police officer who spoke out about abuse ordeal wins national award

09 June 2021

A police officer who was a victim of domestic abuse has won a national award for her contribution to women in policing.

Chief Inspector Sharon Baker, from Avon and Somerset Police spoke out about her experience of being in a controlling abusive relationship in a video posted online last year.

She said she wanted to “break down the wall of silence around domestic abuse” and described the shame and embarrassment that had stopped her from speaking out.

Announcing the winner of the award at the Police Federation annual conference on Wednesday, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said: “This year’s winner spoke out bravely in a video about the domestic abuse that she had suffered.

“As a senior officer, as an experienced police officer, she told her colleagues and the wider world about what had happened. In so doing she has given a strong voice to other victims.

“She has affected the way many colleagues in the police and well beyond think about domestic abuse and she has changed practice.”

Ms Baker said she finally told a trusted colleague about her experience, and that it was “the best decision I’ve ever made”.

On receiving the award, she said: “This award is really for those victims who are suffering from abuse now. I hope it shines a light into the darkness, and shows that you’re not alone.”

Concerns were raised about the plight of domestic abuse victims during the coronavirus lockdowns, amid fears they may be less able to get help.

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