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AJAs 2020 Finalists

The hidden horror of police domestic violence


Slug/Label The hidden horror of police domestic violence
Date Aired or Published Aug 26, 2020
Media outlet where first aired or published: CBC.ca/NovaScotia
Name of Program: CBC News
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Halifax
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio): 08:00 Talk Tape for radio

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

This story examines police domestic violence. In Nova Scotia and across the country, some intimate partners of police officers are being abused, and many are afraid to come forward because they have to report that abuse to officers who work with their partner. In this story we talk to Ellen Doyle, a victim of police domestic violence who describes the toll that abuse had on her. It also examines other cases of this kind of abuse in the province, while drilling down into possible causes for the violence and how police forces respond to it. How this story developed: I had done a series of stories over the last few years about police misconduct and began noticing a trend in the reports from the Serious Incident Response Team, several officers had been charged with domestic violence offenses while off duty. That made me wonder how big a problem this was so I went through every SIRT report ever filed and compiled the information. Then over the course of about four weeks or so I went about getting my hands on court documents about these cases. Then I reached out to several women who were the victims of these attacks and Ellen Doyle was kind enough to tell me her story.

Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:

All in all the story from conception to finished product probably took five weeks to complete, it was done in the normal course of my work week, while I worked on other stories. I had help and advice from colleagues including Blair Rhodes and Richard Cuthbertson, they helped me find some court documents. Jennifer MacMillan was very helpful in being a sounding board for me and giving me a day or so to review the documents. Also Dave Laughlin was my camera person he made this whole thing look great on camera.

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