JULIA MULLIGAN, the North Yorkshire crime commissioner, is clearly going through a period of catharsis as she comes to terms with the torment that she has suffered, and continues to endure, from the day she was raped when she was just 15 years of age.
It speaks volumes about her 36-year ordeal, and the experiences of other victims of sexual assault, that they feel so helpless, and do suffer in silence for so long, before being able to confide with close relatives and work colleagues. Some never do because of unbearable hurt, circumstance – or both.
Yet, if it is any comfort to Mrs Mulligan, and others, it is the fact that societal attitudes are more enlightened than they were in the early 1980s when she was robbed of her dignity. It is why the #MeToo movement has gained so much traction.
And her candour, as a mother, politician and policing leader who plans and commissions services for victims, will, hopefully, make it easier for other children, men and women similarly harmed to seek the support and understanding which is increasingly available.
However Mrs Mulligan fears that change is not happening quickly enough. “Had such services been available when I was 15, perhaps things would have been different, but I am yet to be convinced that society has moved on as much as we would like,” she writes as she sets out, bravely and courageously, the impact of her childhood trauma.
If such openness spares just one person from the nightmare that Mrs Mulligan still lives with, she will also have performed an invaluable public service deserving of the utmost respect and sympathy.