Labour MP Jess Phillips reveals sexual harassment she suffered as schoolgirl

Labour MP Jess Phillips reveals sexual harassment she suffered as schoolgirl

Many women have told their stories of sexual harassment

Monday, January 15, 2018

A Labour MP has revealed that when she was a child men would masturbate in front of her in the street and ask her to get in their cars. 

A Parliamentary inquiry is to begin on the sexual harassment of women and girls in public places. This is being run by the women and equalities select committee, who are asking women to provide examples of their experiences. 

Labour MP Jess Phillips, who is on the committee, told Eamonn Holmes: "Men masturbated in front of me when I was walking to school as a kid, that was a regular occurence, I’d have men pull up the car, ask you to get in when I was younger."

She also said in Nottinghamshire they are trialling the treatment of misogynistic attacks as a hate crime. Phillips believes if the act is "is perceived by that person [it was aimed at], that it has meant they’ve had to change their behaviour, that it made them feel uncomfortable, then yes it is a hate crime."

She claimed that while “there will be lots of women who’ll say 'well I really like [the attention]', well good for you but this isn’t about you."

Whilst some might claim this could allow people to just “stand in the street and be offended," she said many aren’t even convicted of rape so "the idea that everybody’s going to end up in prison is frankly laughable."

Eamonn asked whether women always needed to be aware of men, but Phillips responded by saying “all men have to be aware of all women and they have to listen for the queues, they have to notice when we feel uncomfortable."

She added that it’s about making sure “men are aware of women in the environment and try and make space."

Listen to the full interview above