Minister Josepha Madigan regrets not speaking out about sexual assault for 13 years 8 months ago

Minister Josepha Madigan regrets not speaking out about sexual assault for 13 years

She wanted to "pretend like it never happened".

Dublin Rathdown TD Minister Josepha Madigan has spoken out about being sexually assaulted by a stranger 13 years ago.


She said that she initially underestimated the impact sharing her personal story could have and wanted to pretend it did not happen.

Speaking to the Irish Mirror's podcast, The Glass Ceiling, Ms Madigan said she had decided to speak out about her experience to help other women.

"Suffice to say, I should have been safe and I wasn’t. It wasn’t a pleasant experience and for 13 years, I didn’t tell anybody about it.

“For me it was a stranger, it wasn’t somebody that I knew. I haven’t even said that to anybody except you.


"That indicates to me how deeply embedded shame is in females, that we somehow feel that it was our fault or that we put ourselves in a position that we shouldn’t have.

Credit: Sam Boal/ 

“And looking back on me, 13 years ago, I was still an adult and I regret the fact that I didn’t talk about it at that particular point but I simply just wanted to forget about it.


“I wanted to pretend like it never happened.”

Ms Madigan first revealed she had been sexually assaulted back in July as she was speaking in the Dáil about tackling sexual, domestic and gender-based violence. She said had been overwhelmed by the massive response she received afterwards.

“I was absolutely overwhelmed  with the response that I got not just from women interestingly, but from men as well who knew somebody, their sister or somebody who had been hurt and hadn’t spoken about it.

“I wanted to reassure Irish women that none of us are immune to sexual assault in whatever form that is, that it can happen to anybody at any time whether it’s a stranger or somebody that you knew.


"I underestimated the personal impact on me like the next day I really wasn’t in a great place so it took me a couple of days to get over it and I’m fine now.

"Because once you say something out loud, there is a healing that comes around which is a good thing really, ultimately.

“Maybe there will come a time when I will talk about it in more detail but even the fact that I’m saying what happened to me is a good thing I think and it has helped so many people."

Main Image Credit: Sam Boal/