'To Hell and Back' is a memoir detailing one policewoman’s trials and tribulations working within the ranks of the Victoria Police Force from the early 1980’s to the present day. Despite numerous instances of harassment, false accusations and character assassinations, the member still manages to maintain her sanity and perform her policing duties to the best of her ability. Ultimately, this is a story about one person’s struggle to say and do the right thing, to follow procedure, no matter what the eventual cost to herself or her career.
When a Carolyn joined the Police Force as a twenty one year old female she expected to be confronted by some horrible situations. She expected to be confronted by death, drugs, offenders, and all that came with being a Police Officer.
However, nothing had prepared her for what she was about to encounter. She did not expect that all the problems, disappointments and heart break would come from within the Police Force, from the members she worked with and trusted. She was not prepared for the blatant sexual discrimination, bullying and harassment that was an excepted part of Police culture. This book outlines what many Policewoman had to face to be accepted into the boys club known as Victoria Police. It details how quickly members would turn their backs on someone if they thought supporting them could be detrimental to their own careers. In the Police Force it seemed that no one was ever accountable or responsible for the welfare of its members and Carolyn’s story really highlights these problems.
This is the true story of one Policewoman’s fight to stay in the job she loved no matter how much it affected her health, her family life and her confidence.
It is now 2016 and I have recently retired from the Victoria Police Force after nearly thirty years of service. I have enjoyed much of my time during these thirty years and believe the police force is a great career. Over the past few years it has become a great career for women who are now mostly treated as equals to the male members. I often recommend it as a great challenging career for women when I give talks to many different groups. When I joined, only approximately fourteen percent of the police force were women. This number has now grown to about forty percent. Although this book will show some of the horrific conditions policewomen had to work through during the early years, I must also add that I had some of the greatest times in my life whilst working in the Victorian Police Force.