SDLP's Cara Hunter reveals litany of threatening messages since election
A DEPUTY mayor has spoken publicly for the first time on the sexually violent and threatening messages she has received since her election.
The SDLP's Cara Hunter (24) who was appointed to Derry and Strabane District Council last May, has told BBC Radio Foyle how she has sought police advice over fears for her own safety.
More creepy messages from unknown numbers. As a young female Cllr, this job is hard. You knock on the doors of strangers at all hours of the night + have to trust their intentions are good. 1 man consistently contacts me and tries to discredit me publicly if I do not respond. pic.twitter.com/PymhAIwJ9E— Cllr Cara Hunter #SDLP (@Hunter_SDLP) October 5, 2019
A councillor representing the Derg area, Ms Hunter said she feels young women in politics are "not being taken seriously enough" in relation to workplace harassment.
In a post on social media last night, she thanked BBC journalist Elaine McGee for letting her "share her story" about the "darker" aspects of public life.
"Being an elected Cllr has been incredible, but there’s definitely a less discussed darker side," Ms Hunter said on Twitter.
"If we want more diverse voices at the table, we must ensure women and vulnerable groups feel safe in politics."
In an interview last year, Ms Hunter said she entered politics to help improve mental health services and awareness following the suicide of her best friend in 2017.
Kim Leadbeater, the sister of murdered MP Jo Cox, will also feature on the breakfast radio programme and speak about why there needs to be a wider conversation about the safety of politicians.
Thanks to @columeastwood and my other @SDLPlive colleagues for their support & guidance surrounding the unsolicited, uncalled for, uncomfortable contact I’ve received since being elected. It’s sad so many elected females have their own story on this topic, shouldn’t be this way. https://t.co/UiX8TK9obC— Cllr Cara Hunter #SDLP (@Hunter_SDLP) February 5, 2020