Police, Chaplains and Moral Injury Study

During your service as a police member, have you seen things that felt morally wrong or went against your personal beliefs and values?

As a police chaplain, have you supported a police member who has experienced this?

If so, you may be interested in this research that Phoenix Australia is undertaking. Please note that the survey may not be accessible on some protected networks. We suggest sending the link to your personal email for completion on your own device.

In their work, police members can be exposed to events that feel morally wrong or go against their personal beliefs and values. These can include:

  • Seeing someone (or people) do something or fail to do something that goes against their moral code or values (e.g. witnessing cruel behaviour).
  • Doing something themselves (or failing to do something) that goes against their moral code or values (e.g. they harmed someone or failed to protect someone from harm).
  • Being directly affected by someone doing something or failing to do something that goes against their moral code or values (e.g. being betrayed by someone they trusted).

These sorts of events can lead to reactions including shame, anger and disgust, thoughts of being unworthy, loss of trust in authority and loss of faith in previously held beliefs. Collectively, these reactions have become known as moral injury. Moral injury isn’t a mental health disorder but can be associated with PTSD and/or depression.

Police chaplains have been employed in emergency service organisations over several decades and play an important role in providing support to police members experiencing moral injury.


Can you help us?

We are seeking to interview current serving police members who have experienced one or more events that could lead to moral injury.

We are also seeking to interview police chaplains who have provided support to police members for a moral injury. Please click the ‘Begin participation’ button below to see whether you’re eligible and register your interest.


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