12 October 2021
Detective Sergeant Mark Naylor of Cheshire Police has won the Inspiration in Policing Award at the 25th National Police Bravery Awards.
In 2019, DS Naylor travelled around the country, giving presentations which focused on shining a torch into the darkness of the mind-set of a victim or survivor of sexual abuse. The aim was to bring investigators a chance to “see things from a victim’s point of view.”
His presentation began with a moving audio-recorded witness testimony of the victim’s recollection of the excitement brought by holidays spent in Canada with extended family.
However, the account then recollects the point when a family member begins to prey on the victim by sexually abusing him when aged eight and then again at 10.
The audio describes how supressing the memory takes its toll on the victim, affecting their self-image, confidence and trust and ultimately leads to a breakdown when a younger sibling is given the same opportunity to visit Canada.
As the presentation concluded, DS Naylor would reveal that he is the victim and the experiences are his own.
DS Naylor would then open the floor to a ‘no holds barred’ question and answer session about the abuse, the effects on him, the stress of making a disclosure, the experience of court as a victim and his battle to build his own relationships as a survivor.
DS Naylor did and continues to do this to highlight an important issue in society and to make positive change for the benefit of policing.
Congratulations to DS Naylor, for his incredible work and for sharing his story to help so many others.