By The Mail on Sunday | 10 November 2017 07:31:06The sexual assault crisis engulfing Oxford has been one of the most difficult, frustrating and emotionally draining experiences of my life.
I was 13 and my father was my hero, a brave, selfless man who would take me to places I would not have been able to go otherwise.
I had just finished high school and had just returned from a three-week holiday in the Bahamas.
The next year was the first time I had left Oxford for nearly three years.
I felt my life had been taken away from me, my father had abandoned me and I had no money.
I spent the next two years in a homeless shelter, struggling to feed my own family, which also included my teenage son, a student at the University of Oxford.
It was during this time that I began to notice a change in my relationship with my father.
I told him that I wanted to leave Oxford to pursue a career in the film industry.
He laughed and said, “Well, you can get a job at some big film company”.
This was a first.
It wasn’t a slap in the face.
It was a statement that I was a better person for leaving Oxford, and I felt I was not being treated well by my father as a result of my behaviour.
At the time, I did not fully understand what had happened.
I had not been drinking, smoking or using drugs and, in fact, I had had a relationship with another woman.
I thought my father would see that I had moved on and help me.
I knew I was only 13.
I did nothing wrong.
I simply wanted to live a normal life.
When I returned to Oxford the following year, I was horrified by what had occurred to me and by the way Oxford had treated me.
It is difficult to describe what I felt then.
It is hard to describe how I felt afterwards.
I felt trapped and helpless.
I was emotionally and physically devastated.
I realised I had been betrayed and I could no longer be believed.
In the years that followed, I began taking a series of legal action to reclaim what had been stolen from me and, more importantly, to regain control of my own life.
In February 2017, the Government launched a comprehensive review into sexual assault in colleges and universities.
I have been a champion of reform and have campaigned tirelessly to secure the rights of survivors.
I have also spoken out publicly on the need for the Government to investigate and prosecute all forms of sexual assault.
However, in light of the horrific events that have occurred since the launch of the review, I am now calling on the Government and all other parties to do everything they can to prevent further sexual assault from happening in our country.
My personal story has made it clear that I am not alone.
We all have been affected by sexual assault, and that’s why I want everyone in this country to stand up and fight to protect survivors.
I hope that all survivors and their supporters will now take the opportunity to support me, and the many others who have suffered as a consequence of sexual abuse.
It will also help me to get the message out to all those who continue to prey on vulnerable women.
I want to thank the Oxford community for their support during this difficult time and I hope that the Government will listen and act to protect those who need support.
This is a developing story.
Please check back for updates.