Police To Investigate MP’s Rape After Her Emotional Speech In House Of Commons

Photo: BBC Parliament
Update December 9, 12.05 p.m.: Police Scotland have confirmed they will contact Michelle Thomson about her rape following her brave speech in the House of Commons yesterday, The Guardian reports. A spokesperson for the force said: "Speaking out about sexual abuse is incredibly difficult, and disclosures are often made many years after an incident took place. Police Scotland will listen to any such disclosure, regardless of the passage of time, and will investigate. Our response is always victim focused and every investigation will be tailored to meet their individual needs.” Writing on Twitter, Thomson said she has been "overwhelmed by the number of supportive messages I have received," adding: "Thank you to everyone who has been in touch."

This story was originally published at 3.15 p.m., December 8, 2016.

Michelle Thomson, MP for Edinburgh West, revealed in the House of Commons today that was she was raped as a 14 year old. Thomson, 51, shared her story during a Commons debate centred on UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. She told MPs assembled that she had decided to speak out to "help people in this place and outside understand one element of sexual violence." Thomson said the rape happened in a wooded area near to her childhood home. "As is common," she told MPs, the attacker was someone known to her. She continued: "It was mercifully quick and I remember first of all feeling surprise, then fear, then horror as I realised I quite simply couldn't escape - because he was stronger than me, and there was no sense even initially of any sexual desire from him, which I suppose, looking back, again I find odd." After recalling that she walked home "shivering" and "in shock" after the rape, Thomson added: "I didn't tell my mother, I didn't tell my father, I didn't tell my friends and I didn't tell the police. I bottled it all up inside me." Thomson told the Commons that several years later, she told a teenage boyfriend about what had happened. She then spoke candidly about the long-term effects of her rape. "I carried that guilt, anger, fear, sadness and bitterness for years," she said. "When I got married 12 years later I felt I had a duty to tell my husband. I wanted him to understand why there was this swaddled kernel of extreme emotion at the very heart of me that I knew he could sense, but for many years I simply could not say the words without crying. It was only in my mid-40s that I took some steps to go and get help with it." She concluded stirringly: "One thing I realise now is I'm not scared and he was. I'm not scared. I'm not a victim. I'm a survivor." After she sat down, the Speaker, John Bercow, who was visibly moved by her speech, thanked Thomson and said her words had "left an indelible impression upon us all."

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