Labour former NEC member says she was raped at party event and discouraged from reporting it – Politics live

31 Oct

BB: Erm, it’s something that I’ve experienced myself. Erm, I was seriously sexually assaulted at a Labour party event by – it wasn’t an MP – but someone who was more senior to me. It took me a while, erm – it took me a while to summon up the courage to tell anyone, erm, in the party, but when I did, erm, I told a senior member of, er, staff who told me th – it was suggested to me that I not report it. I was told that if I did it might damage me and that might be their genuine view, it might be that that was the case, in which case that shows that we have a serious problem in politics, erm, with this issue anyway, erm, but I –

CQ – So they said that it would be damaging – to you.

BB: – to me. Yes

CQ: In terms of your progression within the party or the way you’re viewed within the party is that it?

BB: Yeah, I would assume so, yes. And, erm, I wasn’t given good advice. I wasn’t given a procedure when I asked for it so that I could, sort of, see what would happen if I did report it and then make a decision …..

CQ: There have been now a flurry of allegations ranging from a hand on the knee to a lunge in the lift, I mean it all sounds rather crude but, but you know, a range of allegations have been made. When you talk about a serious sexual assault, how far up that scale are you going if I may ask you that?

BB: I was raped. Yeah.

CQ: At a Labour party event?

BB: Yes.

CQ: Did you report it to the police at the time?

BB: No, I didn’t for, erm, all the reasons that I think a lot of women don’t report this. Erm, I… was scared, I felt ashamed, I know that the Labour party, like any family, loves a good gossip and I didn’t want people to know, and I also was worried that I wouldn’t be believed if I did. So, erm, no I didn’t.

CQ: But you did report it to a senior, a senior member of the party or someone that you trusted?

BB: Yeah so, not even initially because it was so difficult, it was something that, at first, I tried to just, erm, pretend hadn’t happened and just sort of shut away. But it was only a couple of years later when I, erm, had summoned up the courage to do it that I did say to someone what had happened, erm, and just wasn’t given the support that I needed. Erm, and –

CQ: – Was this person in a position to help you, were they, were they a senior figure that you went to to ask for help?

BB: Well, yes, that’s why I said it to them, erm, but I guess it was clear that staff didn’t have the training that was needed in order to, erm, to report this, erm, properly. So they didn’t, erm, have the sort of mandatory safe guarding training that should be in place, erm, that would’ve meant that I’d have been given proper advice, been told what the procedure was and talked through that in case I did decide to report it. It just was quite a, quite a cold, horrible experience to be honest. So… it could have been better.

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