Karen Danczuk has told of the horror of being repeatedly raped as a young child.
Danczuk, a Labour councillor who became famous for posting revealing selfies on Twitter, has spoken for the first time of abuse she endured as a child.
“I was raped and abused by a paedophile for years and years,” she told The Sun. “And for years afterwards I felt worthless, guilty, as though I had somehow brought this on myself. But I was just a little girl.”
Danczuk is now married to Labour MP Simon Danczuk with whom she has two children. She says that her traumatic childhood experiences coloured her life as an adult and that posting cleavage-heavy selfies helped boost her confidence.
“I was on anti-depressants for years and wanted to kill myself. But my husband Simon encouraged me to have therapy and now - after intensive counselling - I have been able to get some confidence back.”
“I used to cover my body, wear head-to-toe black clothes so I didn’t draw attention to myself. I was so self-conscious. I now know I didn’t do anything wrong. Finally I realise this isn’t my fault,” Danczuk said.
“I can have fun without feeling ashamed of myself. And that is why I take pictures and put them on Twitter — because I can. I am now free to do whatever I want.”
Last week the Labour councillor for Kingsway, Rochdale, was embroiled in an argument with deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman. Danczuk accused Harman of saying she was "too pretty for politics", which Harman emphatically denied.
Danczuk describes herself as “Queen of the Selfie” and posts motivational messages for her social media followers. “I was a caged bird, then I learnt to fly. Came from nothing, now riding the waves,” her Twitter bio reads.
She never pressed charges against her attacker, as she feels it would add to the trauma. “I’ve thought about it, but I don’t want to take a step back. He’s ripped years of my life apart. I can’t let him take any more from me.”
Talking about the man who attacked her, Danczuk says that he tried to trick her into thinking it was a game.
“I didn’t take much notice of him until [the attack],” she says.
He “got hold of my hand and made me put it on his area,” Danczuk says. “He tried to make it a game. I was young, but I knew right from wrong.”
“I’d try to blank it out... I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.”
After the May elections, Danczuk will be standing down from her position as councillor in order to focus on her family and media career.
Rape Crisis spokeswoman Katie Russell told The Independent: “When figures in the public eye speak out about sexual violence it is a stark reminder that such experiences are much more common than most people realise or than we as a society are sometimes comfortable to acknowledge.
“For those living with experiences of sexual violence who have not yet told anyone or sought support, we hope this sends the message that you are not alone and we encourage you to contact your nearest Rape Crisis services for confidential, independent and specialist support.
“Karen’s choice to tell her story publicly is courageous and inspiring but in no way reflects negatively on those who choose to remain anonymous; to survive sexual violence is itself a very courageous and inspiring thing.”Reuse content