‘A part of me died’: MP Jamie Wallis speaks out about rape trauma | Rape and sexual assault

The Conservative MP Jamie Wallis has said “a part of me died” when he was raped, as he called for more support for victims and confirmed he intends to transition to living as a woman.

Wallis, who is the MP for Bridgend, said since making a statement last month about being raped he had been contacted by a “shocking” number of men and women who had had similar experiences.

“None of us, no matter who you are or what side of the House of Commons you sit on, you cannot get it right until we have an understanding of how pervasive this is,” he said, adding, “at some point we are going to have to find a way of identifying people that need … who have been through this trauma and need help”.

Speaking of his own experience, Wallis said: “I met someone that I liked and things started off quite well actually. Then I was not OK with not being what I consider to be responsible and practice safety in the bedroom and so I withdrew consent and then there was … then he just decided that he was going to do it anyway and I was powerless to stop him.”

He added: “In that moment a part of me died and I have been trying to get it back ever since.”

Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sky News, Wallis said: “I tried to forget about it for a few weeks and it almost worked, almost worked but then you start getting nightmares, flashbacks, it starts occupying every one of your thoughts and you find yourself just staring off into the distance because you’re thinking about it again and that’s when I chose to get some help.”

Wallis stunned colleagues last month when he published a late-night statement revealing that he is transgender, as well as the fact that he had been raped.

It came hours after Boris Johnson made what some in Westminster interpreted as a transphobic joke at a private Tory dinner, saying: “Good evening, ladies and gentleman – or as Keir Starmer would put it, people who are assigned female or male at birth.”

After Wallis came out as trans, Johnson praised him for his bravery. The MP said he had received support from across the political spectrum.

Speaking about his gender dysphoria, Wallis said he was eight years old when he first felt discomfort with what he called “my physical characteristics”.

“I think I was eight years old when I was trying to work out what this was because that would have been 1991, 1992 and there wasn’t the ready access to the internet, there wasn’t anyone else in my community at home that felt like this or that I knew about so I had no idea what it was,” he said, explaining that he had not spoken to anyone about it, and sought to repress it for many years.

Confirming that he wanted to “begin the process of transitioning”, which he expected to be “challenging and difficult”, Wallis urged others not to wait so long.

“You’ve got a long life, I wouldn’t wait as long as I’ve waited – I’m 37, maybe you could move a little bit quicker than that – but actually there is nothing wrong with just taking some time and discovering yourself and don’t feel rushed to pick up a label or view it in any way but when you know who you are, you are ready and you want to tell the world, there are people like myself who are waiting and we’re welcoming, we’re friendly and we’re here to help and support,” he said.

He added: “It is a transition; it is a journey and I can start that journey now without worrying about being seen or what people are going to say or anything like that.”

In the UK, Rape Crisis offers support for rape and sexual abuse on 0808 802 9999 in England and Wales, 0808 801 0302 in Scotland, or 0800 0246 991 in Northern Ireland. In the US, Rainn offers support on 800-656-4673. In Australia, support is available at 1800Respect (1800 737 732). Other international helplines can be found at ibiblio.org/rcip/internl.html

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