Former Scottish MP Michelle Thomson: 'I am not a victim. I am a survivor.'

Former SNP MP Michelle Thomson has dealt with rape, false media accusations and being suspended from her party. She opens up on how she coped with the most testing times of her life.

by Kate Bassett

'When I was 14 I was raped'. These are still deeply shocking words to hear and to say, even after speaking about it in the House of Commons on December 8th 2016.

But, and it is for me a very big but: while being raped has deeply affected me, I refuse to allow it to define me.

My speech was made during one of the most testing times of my life. Only a few short weeks after being elected, I was the subject of my first national media story. During the General Election, a constituent had maliciously added my SNP email address to a dating website called Ashley Madison. Some months later that database was hacked and the data released to the world. Strangely, it took only a few hours for my name and face (and ironically only my name out of the 32 million users), to appear on the national news and many media outlets. The fact that I strenuously denied it, the fact that I made a report to Police Scotland and the perpetrator identified and interviewed under caution held little subsequent interest.

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