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Lisa Wilkinson has opened up to Hamish MacDonald on The Sunday Project about an alleged sexual assault she suffered at the age of 15, saying it's a "weight off my shoulders" to share her story.
The Project host said that it was hearing Brittany Higgins' story of sexual assault at Parliament House in 2019 that made her want to share her story.
"Brittany's story was more important to me than anything I'd ever worked on," Lisa said. "She has inspired survivors of sexual abuse everywhere to tell their story and to believe that they will be listened to and heard and that their story matters.
"That I had to include something that happened to me when I was 15, as well. And her bravery just meant that if I didn't do that, I wouldn't be telling my complete story."
Lisa's book It Wasn't Meant To Be Like This details alleged sexual assaults that occurred when the presenter was a teenager by a man she thought she could trust.
"It was someone who was a father of a very close school friend of mine," she shared with tears in her eyes. "But he was also someone that my dad knew really well. And the second and final time that it happened, my dad came to pick me up from the sleepover I was made to have that night.
"And I got to the door. And my friend's father arrived at the door just after me. With the same hand that had just been on my body, he reached out and shook the hand of my father and said, 'Ray, it's great to see you!'"
She continued, "To me, safety was always in the arms of my father. He was the most incredible man and seeing him, for the moment, made a lot of it better. And I just chose to never speak about it, to never do anything about it. And I've only very recently told my girlfriend what happened."
When asked what telling the story changes for her, Lisa added, "I'd be lying if I didn't say it lifted a weight off my shoulders. Because I feel in telling the story of what happened to me at 15, I'm linking arms to so many women around the country who until this year, hadn't told their stories either."
For sexual assault and family and domestic violence support, you can call 1800respect on 1800 737 732.
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