Fiona O’Donnell MP says man watched her undress

Fiona O'Donnell says the incident happened when she was 16. Picture: comp
Fiona O'Donnell says the incident happened when she was 16. Picture: comp
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An East Lothian MP has told the Commons that a neighbour watched her undress when she was aged 16 during a debate on protecting children online.

Fiona O’Donnell said she was too scared at the time to tell her father that a man had watched her from a kitchen which overlooked her bedroom.

Ms O’Donnell also said she lived in fear for several months about whether the man would tell other people about what he had seen. She said this was the first time in 37 years she had told people of the story.

Speaking during an Opposition Day debate today, the Labour MP said it is important to remember how difficult it is for children to tell parents of what has happened to them.

Ms O’Donnell said: “We have to do more to protect children, that’s absolutely clear, and this debate has caused me to reflect on an experience I had around the age of 16 before the age of computers, certainly in the Highlands of Scotland.

“I was getting ready for bed one night when I caught sight out of the window of a flashing light. I realised a kitchen overlooked my bedroom, there was a man in that kitchen who had been watching me undress and he had been flicking the light to let me know that he was doing this.

“This is the first time I have ever shared that experience because at the age of 16 I was too scared to tell anyone. I thought I had done something wrong.

“I was scared to tell my parents. My father had warned me you should be shutting your bedroom curtains when you’re getting ready for bed.

“I was scared my father might go down and confront the man and that my father, as a very peace-loving man, might be hurt. I lived in fear for many, many months that this man was going to approach me or tell people what he had seen.

“I think we need to remember just how difficult it is for young people to tell their stories if it’s taken me until the age of 53 to tell that particular story.”