It’s not an if, it’s a when. Being assaulted isn’t, and shouldn’t be “just part of the job”, however we all know it will happen.
Whether it is a bruise, scratch, bump or broken bone, I don’t think any police officer can say they’ve seen out an entire career without coming to harm.
I got assaulted at a domestic. I spoke about it in my “A Copper’s Confidence” post. I got concussion when my head got smacked against a mirror during a fight with a man twice my size. My colleague got a sprained wrist. It’s still weak now. It still crunches now and then. It’ll never properly heal.
My husband was away with the military when I got assaulted. I didn’t tell him all the details, I didn’t tell him I had concussion until after I left hospital. We don’t want to worry our families. We don’t want them to not want us to go to work. We don’t want them to feel useless when we don’t want to talk about what happened. We try to protect them from the shit side of our job.
It’s part of our job, but it shouldn’t be.
Within a matter of weeks, my colleague got spat at, and punched in the face.
I asked him if he was okay after both of these.
“Oh I’m fine they didn’t spit in my face”
“Yeah I’m okay it’s just a bruise”
It’s not okay. Why should we get spat at for doing our job? Why should we get punched because somebody is getting arrested?
We put on a brave face (excuse the pun) at work and at home. Saying “I’m okay” is easier. Doesn’t stop you doubting yourself though.
Should I have done something differently?
Should I have called for back up sooner?
Should I have cuffed them faster?
Hindsight can be our worst enemy. We do things as quickly, safely and practically as we can, and sometimes it bites us on the arse.
We expect to get battered and bruised. We should not expect people to deliberately try to hurt us. It’s not okay.