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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 25 August, 2019

Emma Thompson got very honest about her daughter's assault on a London Tube

Gaia was 17 at the time.

WHILE APPEARING ON BBC Radio 4, Oscar Award-winning actress, Emma Thompson, opened up about her teenage daughter’s experience of sexual assault, and the impact it has had on her confidence and perception of safety in public spaces.

gaia Source: PA Images

Speaking on Woman’s Hour, the 59-year-old actress explained that her daughter, who was 17 at the time of the incident last year, was travelling on the London Underground when she was ‘felt up’.

My daughter had the experience of being felt up on the Tube and felt very nervous about going out and on the Tube for a long time afterwards.

After her daughter confided in her that she also felt a sense of shame over not speaking out in that moment, Emma reflected on the response and came to the conclusion her daughter is certainly not alone in it.

London Evening Standard British Film Awards - London Source: Ian West/PA Images

She said the thing that upset her most was not the act itself but the fact that she felt cowed enough by it not to call him out. And I think that’s what we suffer as women most from is our shame at not being able to say ‘Why are you doing that?’

Emma, who has always been vocal in her support of the MeToo movement, regrets the impact incidents like this have on a woman’s sense of self-worth, adding that the sense of shame victims feel is supremely ‘unjust’.

We’re so shocked and undermined by these actions that we can’t turn around and take the action that we want, and that’s the thing that sits with us and sticks with us. Which is so unjust.

However, given how common a reaction this is in many incidents of this nature, Emma urges women to show themselves compassion for responding in this way.

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