New MP Tracy Brabin reveals she was also sex assault victim as Michelle Thomson told Commons of her rape hell

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Tracy Brabin has revealed she was the victim of a sex assault (Photo: ITV)

New MP Tracy Brabin has also revealed she was a victim of sex assault as politician Michelle Thomson reduced the House of Commons to tears

Ms Thomson told how she was attacked at the age of 14 by a friends in the woods.

Independent Ms Thomson, who is currently suspended from the SNP , said: "I’m not a victim, I’m a survivor."

She told how the assault was "mercifully quick" as her pal abused her against her will.

Labour MP Tracy Brabin, who succeeded murdered MP Jo Cox in Batley and Spen, West Yorks, also told how she was targeted by a predator.

She described it as the "worst thing that I could ever imagine happening to me".

Michelle Thomson reduced to Commons to tears (Photo: BBC)

Ms Brabin said: "I was going to be one of those very rare statistics of a woman who is attacked by a stranger, not by someone she knows.

"I was in my second year at university, the man had seen me walk past his car and had waited ahead for me to turn the corner.

"As I came up against him all those words of advice your mum gives you – knee him where it hurts then run like hell – well they disappeared, I was frozen in fear."As he shoved me to the ground trying to rape me, I fought back, but I was battered.

"It was only the community-spirited Indian neighbour further down the road that saved me from something much worse."

She said the man was sentenced, noting: "I didn’t have to look over my shoulder, checking if he was following me.

"He was a stranger. I didn’t have to wake up in the same bed as him, go to work with him as my boss.

Video thumbnail, MPs rape survivor story moves house to tears

"He didn’t use a broken bottle to hurt me. He was alone and not with a group of other men. It was only once and not several times."

Ms Brabin told MPs how the "following few years were hard" for her.

She said: "I got afraid walking alone so I bought a bike. I got scared in the night. I slept with a knife. I was easily startled and cried at the drop of a hat."

The MP urged the Government to do more to combat violence against women.

Ms Thomson was speaking during a debate on the UN’s International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women.

The MP for Edinburgh West told the Commons she had known her attacker and, following the sex assault, "bottled it all up inside".

She told the Commons said: "When I was 14, I was raped. As is common, it was by somebody who was known to me."He had offered to walk me home from a youth event and in those days everybody walked everywhere, it was quite common to do that."

Michelle Thomson making her brave speech (Photo: BBC)

Ms Thomson said it was early evening in an area she knew well, adding: "He told me he wanted to show me something in a wooded area and at that point, I must admit, I was alarmed.

"I did have a warning bell – but I overrode that warning bell because I knew him and therefore there was a level of trust in place.

"To be honest, looking back, at that point I don’t think I knew what rape was. It was not something that was talked about."

Ms Thomson went on: "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."

She said her senses were "absolutely numbed", telling MPs: "Thinking about it now, 37 years later, I cannot remember hearing anything when I replay it in my mind."

She said that afterwards, she walked home alone crying, cold and shivering as she was in shock.

Ms Thomson said: "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.

Commons Speaker John Bercow

"I hoped, briefly and appallingly, that I might be pregnant so that would force a situation to help me control it."

Ms Thomson later felt she had a duty to tell her husband about what happened, confiding to MPs: "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 said the rape "fatally undermined" her self-esteem, confidence and sense of self-worth.

But Ms Thomson said despite this she is "blessed" in her life and has been happily married for 25 years.

She went on: "But if this was the effect from one small, albeit significant, event in my life stage, how must it be for those women who are carrying this on a day-by-day basis?"

She had encountered "other aggressive actions" towards her in business and politics, saying: "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."

Commons Speaker John Bercow cracked with emotion as he thanked Ms Thomson for her speech, noting she had "left an indelible impression on us all".