Wakefield MP reveals she was sexually assaulted in childhood

MP Mary Creagh
MP Mary Creagh

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh has revealed she was sexually assaulted in her childhood.

She made the decision to talk about the incidents to encourage more victims to speak out.

Ms Creagh said she had her underwear ripped off and was sexually assaulted during a game of kiss chase in the school playground at the age of just seven. And later, aged 16, she said she had her bottom pinched by a parish priest.

Ms Creagh is one of several MPs who have spoken out about their experiences this week, as part of the #MeToo movement, designed to raise awareness of the scale of sexual assault and harassment, both in the past and in society today.

She said: “I thought long and hard about whether or not to say anything. But I think until speaking about it is normal, we won’t be able to tackle the problem. The norm is something bad happens, you don’t have the power to challenge the perpetrator and so you keep quiet about it. That’s the experience for far too many women.”

Ms Creagh also recalls an incident, in which she said a teacher drove her to his house and tried to kiss her, while giving her a lift home. She said she only told her headteacher years later when she feared others could be at risk.

“All of the incidents were disturbing in their different ways,” she said.

The #MeToo movement has seen thousands of people share their experiences online in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Writing on Facebook, she said: “Sadly this behaviour is still all too common. Silence lets it happen.”

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