Columnist speaks out on TV about being the victim of sexual assault

By Laura Lyne

COLUMNIST Fiona Looney, who originally hails from Greenhills, opened up on Monday’s episode of Midday on TV3 about an incident in her 20s in which she was sexually assaulted.

She revealed the incident during a panel discussion about recent remarks made by Chrissie Hynde, front woman of The Pretenders, who took fault for a sexual assault she was a victim to at the age of 21.

Midday - Fiona Looney resized

In her remarks, which were published as part of an interview with The Sunday Times magazine, Chrissie said that women who dressed provocatively while walking down the street drunk were to blame if they were attacked.

The remarks were met with stories from broadcaster Bibi Baskin, who revealed she was groped while in India, and from Fiona Looney.

Speaking about the experience, Fiona said: “I’ve never spoken about this. I was sexually assaulted about 25/30 years ago. I had been drinking. I was drunk. My guard was down. I was wearing a short skirt. It was awful.

“At the time it was the worst thing that ever happened to me. It was dreadful. But afterwards, the amount of people, and I hate to say this, mainly women, who said ‘yeah but your skirt was really short and you were quite drunk’.

“I’m sorry, how is that my fault that a man forced me down and pulled my legs apart? How is that my fault because of what I was wearing?

“I was quite dismayed at how many people said ‘well, what did you expect?’ and maybe that’s why I didn’t report it actually.”

During the broadcast, Ellen O’Malley from the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre urged “anyone who was a victim of an assault to ring the helpline and get the support and help to get through it.”

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre Helpline can be reached at 1800 778888.

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