AN SNP MSP has insisted “too little has changed” since she spoke out publicly about being raped at the age of 14.

Michelle Thomson, MSP for Falkirk East, called for action and change in a powerful speech as part of a Holyrood debate to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

In 2016, while an MP, Ms Thomson gave a speech in the House of Commons revealing that, 37 years previously, she had been attacked in a wooded area by someone she knew.

She later contacted the police, and Ms Thomson now says the perpetrator was identified and charged but not prosecuted due to the passage of time.

Speaking in Holyrood, Ms Thomson said: “In 2016, then an MP, I spoke in the House of Commons about being raped at the age of 14.

“Too little has changed.

“In the immediate aftermath I received thousands of cards, letters, and emails.

“Simultaneously, I received extensive abuse on social media, almost always from men.

“After my speech, I made a complaint to Police Scotland.

“The perpetrator was identified and charged but not prosecuted due to the passage of time. It was never reported in the press.

“Making a police report was difficult. I learned why some facets of my adult character were as they were.”

She added: “When I described my varied career to Police Scotland, they explained to me that my workaholic habits were entirely understandable.

“When someone like me starts running, they keep running. For many women, however, it is into the arms of an abusive partner, drugs, or drink.”

With her voice breaking, she said: “Disclosure was me finally standing my ground.

“I was naked from the inside out and all I had was my small internal voice that whispered, ‘hear me’.”

Ms Thomson was praised for her bravery in speaking out in 2016 and some other MPs were moved to tears by her speech at Westminster.

Earlier, MSPs held a minute's silence to mark all women killed by men this year.

SNP Social Justice Secretary, Shona Robison, also spoke in the debate, saying the Scottish Government’s Equally Safe strategy for preventing violence against women and girls was to be updated.

She added: “Whilst we have achieved a lot, there remains much work to do. A world without violence is possible.

“I urge all of us to work collaboratively from constituency to committee and across this chamber to do all we can to eradicate it from Scotland.”

Speaking for the Liberal Democrats in the debate, Beatrice Wishart raised the issue of spiking by injection.

She said: “The relatively new phenomenon of needle spiking hit the headlines recently.

“It’s shocking but rather than lessen its impact by giving it the term – almost a jokey phrase – of spiking, let’s call it for what it actually is.

“It’s the intention of a perpetrator to render someone incapable so that they can sexually assault and abuse them.”

Scottish Conservative MSP, Alexander Stewart, spoke about domestic violence, describing the impact his father’s abusive behaviour had on his mother.

He said: “As a three-year-old child I witnessed the devastation, and traumatic impact of violence subjected to my mother by my father, and that has never left me.”

The SNP’s Jim Fairlie voiced his “disappointment” that more male MSPs were not taking part in the debate.

He warned that “the distance between laddish banter to sexual violence is far shorter than we are prepared to believe”, adding that “we need to challenge and change that culture”.

Mr Fairlie added: “We males have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves some serious questions.”

Labour’s Mercedes Villabla told MSPs that “it would be a mark of failure” of the Scottish Parliament if those reflecting in 30 years’ time “concluded that we said all the right things but failed to deliver the action needed to eliminate violence against women and girls”.