Fifteen years ago I was working for the Government in my home country. I was tasked to brief and support a Member of Parliament at a public conference event. I attended the event with him, we chatted, I helped him with questions and his speaking points, it seemed quite normal and professional. I’d done similar things before. It was an evening event. At the end, he asked which area of the city I was living in, and when I told him, he said he was staying quite near, could I give him a lift as far as my house and he would make is own way from there – it would save him calling one of the Parliamentary drivers out. That felt a bit strange, but I agreed. I was eager to please and as a well-trained civil servant, sure that my job was to support the elected representatives, whatever they needed, those busy important people. And I was shy and yes, naive. When we arrived at my house he said it was quite late, he would call a taxi rather than walk, could he wait inside? When we were inside, he started to stand very close to me, and to touch my arms and then he put his arm around my waist. I was scared. I couldn’t understand how I’d let it happen that a strange man was in my home late at night touching me. I didn’t want him to touch me, but it was me who had driven him here, me who had agreed to let him wait inside. So I must have invited it, yes? He must have thought he was playing a game we were both in on, when actually only he knew the rules. He was stroking me and kissing me, and pressed me onto the sofa. He asked could he touch me, I didn’t say yes but I didn’t say no – my voice had vanished with shock and fear. He touched me intimately, I remember being stiff with anxiety and discomfort but willing myself not to flinch because that might make it worse, maybe he’d think I liked it and violate me completely. Eventually, he said it was late and he had an early meeting. He called a taxi and it came quickly. I can’t remember what happened while we were waiting for it, but he left. I went to the shower and washed and washed but I couldn’t feel clean. I didn’t sleep that night. I didn’t know what to do or think only that I never in a lifetime thought something like that would happen, and how awful it felt. I never reported it. I was so ashamed, I thought it was my fault, and I knew too well that politicians are dirty fighters and that the press love a scandal – I didn’t want to get dragged through that. At different times over the years since then I’ve tried to resolve that experience, make sense of it. but on some level the hurt and shame go on. I’ve come to understand it wasn’t my fault. That man abused his position of authority, he abused my innocence, and what he did was wrong. It was an assault. That man scarred me in a way that has never quite healed. I wish he’d had to pay for it. But he didn’t.