To Hell and Back - A Policewoman's Story

Carolyn Pethick

Book Cover

GENRE

BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR CRIME DRAMA

    Core Theme

    OVERCOMING HARDSHIP AND TRAGEDY.

    TIME PERIOD

    1980s & '90s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    BONES, PERSON OF INTEREST, THE HEAT, DESTROYER

    CHARACTER LIST

    • CAROLYN PETHICK: 21-57. LOYAL AND HARDWORKING.

    • CAROLYN'S DAUGHTER: 0-11.

    • SERGEANT SARP: CAROLYN'S ENEMY.

    • ACTING COMMISSIONER: BRINGS CASE AGAINST CAROLYN.

    • SERGEANT AT REGENT POLICE STATION: PROVIDES SUPPORT TO CAROLYN.

    • HEAD OF THE ETHICAL STANDARDS DEPARTMENT: BRINGS CHARGES AGAINST CAROLYN.

    Logline

    An Australian policewomans story from joining the Academy at the age of 21 to retirement at the age of 57. It is a story about the constant bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment she endured during those years and yet she remained loyal to her job no matter what they threw at her.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Victoria Australia

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Carolyn Pethick

    Year Published: 2016

    Starting Description

    Enter the Police Academy when women were not really wanted

    Ending Description

    Finally can take no more and commences stress leave after it is proven that the allegations against her were fabricated to punish her for reporting her superiors

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    9780646983356

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions

    Plot - Premise

    Tragedy

    Main Character Details

    Name: Carolyn

    Age: 21-50

    Gender: Female

    Role: Emotional

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Obedient,Confident,Selfless,Desperate,Engaging,Faithful,Skillful,Educated,Strong Moral Code,Underdog

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Police Officers - Bullies

    Age: Numerous

    Gender: Male

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Aggressive,Narcisstic,Criminal,Blunt,Power Hungry,Sarcastic,Unapologetic,Leader,Insecure

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    I believe this is part of the package I have paid for - that one of your team will complete this for me but I will have a go ..... Brief Carolyn Pethick loved her job in the Victoria Police Department. Little did she know when she signed up that the stress of the job would not come from the people she arrested but from the people she worked with. As hard as they tried to push her out her determination to survive and perform her role only heightened. Synopsis Carolyn Pethick details her carer in a very male dominated police force from the early 1980’s. Right from the beginning it was a sexist environment with women having to wait three years longer than men to join. Until they had matured enough. Her story then folllows her career through areas where women were just not wanted and were constantly told so. After leaving the force to have her daughter she later rejoined to find things only got worse. After doing the unthinkable, reporting her abusers for blatant discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment the police department retaliated with threats of imprisonment. To Hell and Back is a very topical and timely story of one woman’s struggle to do her job in a mans club. There was no one to report to and very few superiors cared.

    Brief

    An Australian policewoman's story from joining the Academy at the age of 21 to retirement at the age of 57. A story about the constant bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment she endured during those years, and yet she remained loyal to her job no matter what they threw at her.

    What We Liked

    - The issue of discrimination against women is always topical, particularly in industries that have yet to address it. This makes the set-up for telling a story within the police force an interesting one. The journey the central character goes on could appeal to others who have experienced similar treatment, within their own fields.
    - This would make for a film as it provides a contained story of discrimination, which progresses over the film's running time. The audience would be able to follow along as the central character starts off hopeful and excited about a career in the police force but is left, by the end of the film, dejected and downtrodden over her treatment there. It would be a full journey that the audience would take with the lead character.
    - It would work as a TV series as each particular strain of discrimination could be dealt with in each episode. Over time, the issues and challenges a female police officer experiences could play out against the backdrop of the various cases she takes on, culminating in her being wrongfully investigated too.
    - Key points: It's a story of overcoming adversity; It could be a women's empowerment story; It's about discrimination - and how to overcome it; It's a story about a subject not often spoken about - the treatment of women in the police force; The main character is a woman.

    Synopsis

    Carolyn Pethick joins the police academy at the age of 21, having always wanted to be a police officer her whole life. She completes her training and does well, and is then assigned to the Victoria Police Station. Here she soon finds out, as a woman, the other police officers, the men, are not eager to work with her.

    She is sent back and further between various departments, as the men play around with not wanting her to work with them. It’s just one of the ways Carolyn is bullied and messed around. But despite this, she proves herself to be an able and solid police officer — helping to crack cases and find thieves. She wants to join the criminal investigation bureau and asks her senior sergeant for a reference, to which he tells her she’d need to be naked in his office for it. She finds another reference but is still denied the job.

    She is sent to Dunmow, where she works incredibly hard, but also meets a man she begins a relationship with, and who becomes the father of her daughter. She goes on to protect the prime minister and his wife, before finally being upgraded to work at Belmore Police Station as a sergeant. She gets the promotion, but the petty remarks made to her and the constant discrimination get the better of her. She decides to leave the police force and focus on raising her daughter, while going into real estate to make a living.

    But Carolyn loves the police force and wants to return, so she does, 6 years later. The officers she worked with in the past are still around and the sergeant she works under is a bully to her, so she files a bullying and discrimination complaint. It goes nowhere, leaving Carolyn frustrated and dejected. She continues to work and is sent to Regent Police Station where she begins to thrive in her duties. She applies to become a sergeant again but finds out a complaint has been laid against her — not only that, but she faces criminal charges and could lose her job or do jail time. However, it turns out she’s been erroneously investigated due to a mistake on the part of the Ethical Standards Division. Although it all turns out to be a big error, she is prevented from receiving a promotion or from bettering her life as a police woman. She finds out the acting superintendent had led a whole vendetta against her because of her bullying complaint.

    Nothing is solved for Carolyn, and instead many months pass by without her situation being addressed by those in power. She goes through numerous meetings and tries to break through red tape to achieve some sort of compensation for all the trauma that’s affected her life and her daughter’s as a result of the stress at work, but gets nothing. Eventually Carolyn goes to see a psychologist and learns to make peace with her situation. She is still working as a senior constable but she has lost the passion for her job, and it is now just a means for her to pay the bills, and not a way to change the world.

    About The Author

    Carolyn Pethick is a former policewoman who wrote 'To Hell and Back' as a memoir detailing her trials and tribulations working within the ranks of the Victorian Police Force from the early 1980's to the present day.