A LABOUR election candidate has claimed she was spiked and raped in a “politically motivated attack by a far-right extremist”.
Emily Owen, 25, said she felt compelled to speak out amid a rise in hate crime, citing the attack on left-wing activist Owen Jones as a “tipping point”.
The prospective MP for the Welsh constituency of Aberconwy said she had “numerous” reasons for not reporting the alleged incident to the police, and the decision was not taken “lightly”.
Writing on her Facebook page, she said: “Last year I was spiked and raped in a politically motivated attack.
“I have battled with myself for a few months as to whether to tell my story.
“This isn’t to play the victim, get sympathy or even support – it’s to raise a very important point and comes on the back of Owen Jones being attacked on a night out simply for being himself.”
Ms Owen added that it was “made clear to me that my attack was politically motivated”.
‘I WILL NOT SIT BY’
She wrote that her recovery was a “process” and that she had “turned anger into forgiveness of my rapist”.
However, she said she wanted to use her platform to raise awareness of the “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,” 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’s brave post came only two years after she was targeted with sexist abuse in the run-up to the 2017 election.
Originally from Bury, Greater Manchester, she was elected to Conwy County Council aged 21 while studying at Bangor University and narrowly missed out on winning the Aberconwy seat to Tory MP Guto Bebb.
She was inundated with support following her announcement, with Owen Jones praising her as “horrendously courageous”.
The 35-year-old author and columnist was celebrating his birthday with friends when he was allegedly attacked outside an Islington pub in August.
At the time he said: “Given the far right attacks I’ve had in the streets, and generally escalating far right threats I’ve had, I’m in no doubt as to what this is.”
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Aberconwy Labour also commended Ms Owen’s “unimaginable courage” in coming forward to tell her story.
A Welsh Labour spokesman said: “Emily has consistently spoken out against the sexism and misogyny she has encountered, including in the media, as a candidate. No woman should face such abuse.
“Her story will resonate with many and we are united in working for a politics and a society that is inclusive and safe for all women.”
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