'I was raped in politically motivated attack'
Published : Tuesday, 17 September, 2019 at 8:10 PM Count : 242
A Labour parliamentary candidate has said her drink was spiked and she was raped in a "politically motivated attack".
Speaking out about the attack on her Facebook page, Emily Owen said she did not report the incident when it happened last year.
But Ms Owen, the party's candidate for Aberconwy in North Wales, said she had decided to share her story after Labour activist and journalist Owen Jones was attacked outside a London pub in August.
Mr Jones said the attack was a premeditated move by "far right" activists.
Ms Owen said that "candidates and MPs up and down the country from all parties, including myself, are being subjected to horrific abuse daily and it's absolutely not acceptable".
The 25-year-old said she did not report the rape to police for "numerous reasons" and that she has "turned my anger into forgiveness of my rapist but I have something else to say".
She added: "There are some sets of people I can't forgive.
"As Owen Jones used his platform when he was attacked I will use my (somewhat smaller) platform to stand up and be counted, speaking up for those who feel their voices can't be heard.
"There are thousands of people who are being attacked every day by the far right for simply being themselves.
"I will not sit by and allow that to happen."
Taking aim at Boris Johnson, she said: "For the first time in our history, we have a prime minister whom the far right regard as their leader.
"People are being attacked in the street, threats on social media are increasing, hate speech is now common and there is a real feeling of unease throughout the country. Make no mistake, this movement is real and it's happening now.
"Our leaders can no longer dismiss it as irrelevant and if they do we must rise together to put a halt to it."
Ms Owen called on the PM to "show some real leadership", adding: "Stop fuelling hatred, stop making ridiculous remarks about Muslims to pick up headlines when you know they will cause serious damage, call your supporters out on the horrific online and physical attacks being done in your name up and down the country."
Ms Owen, who stood for Labour in the same seat at the 2017 election, was praised for speaking out and sharing her story.
Mr Jones wrote on Twitter: "Horrific, but horrendously courageous by Emily Owen - who wants to speak up for people who don't have their voices heard."
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, who herself has been a target of online abuse, wrote on Ms Owen's Facebook post: "I am so sorry to hear this has happened to you.
"It is incredibly brave to speak out the way you have, and I know it will be a source of support and inspiration to others. Solidarity."