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Laura Whitmore has written about her experience of being sexually assaulted in a nightclub

She also gave her thoughts on #MeToo.

TV PRESENTER LAURA Whitmore is speaking publicly about an incident in a nightclub in which she was sexually assaulted.

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Writing in the latest edition of Hot Press magazine, the 32-year-old opened up about it for the first time saying:

Last year I was in a club with my friends and I could feel a hand on the back of my leg. Initially I thought it was my boyfriend messing or a mate about to pinch my bottom – but the hand went under my skirt, between my legs, and firmly touched me.
As I turned, I saw it was a guy who I did not know. He was laughing. I pushed him away and told him to get his ‘fucking hands off me’. It was dark and I was shocked by what had just happened. I couldn’t recognise his face under the strobing lights and, then, he was gone.
I was a bit tipsy and I was wearing a short skirt. Did I deserve that to happen? I told the manager but what could I do? What was the point?”

She also called the ongoing #MeToo movement the “tip of the iceberg”, as well as referencing the recent Belfast trial.

My fear now is the media circus and the ‘slut-shaming’ will stop other women from coming forward when they have been the victim of assault or rape. What really struck home with me was the number of women who contacted me over my social media to say that the derogatory messages the men exchanged was simply culturally accepted as ‘lad banter’ and that loads of guys in those kind of social circles do that – and that’s just the way it is.
‘She was asking for it’. This is a comment I’ve seen repeatedly online since the verdict of not guilty came out and it is the ‘entitled’ mentality of phrases like this that sicken me to my core.”

Giving in an insight into her experience on Strictly Come Dancing in the context of how the media treats women, she explained how the subsequent media storm surrounding her took its toll.

Source: BBC

I’m still not ready to talk in-depth about my experience on the show. I love dancing, I topped the leader board twice – but before it even began, I was thrown into the lion’s den and into the middle of someone’s break-up that had nothing to do with me.

At the beginning of the series there was much speculation that Giovanni was romancing the Irish star as he and recently split from girlfriend Georgia May Foote – who he also met through Strictly Come Dancing.

However, when the pair left the show in early November, reports emerged that they had parted on bad terms.

I was placed with a dance partner I was extremely uncomfortable with – and in the end I felt broken. I cried every day. And I really was broken, both mentally and physically, by the end. To the outside world I tried to suck it up and smile, and I did that to the best of my ability – but it affected me deeply.
My friends and family knew that I was struggling. And they were there for me. The media, however, saw me as blonde bait in a sequined dress.

laura-whitmore-748179 Source: BBC

On a more postivie note, the fee for Laura’s article was donated to the Rape Crisis Centre. Fair play!

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