Silvana Koch- Mehrin reports on sexual harassment

DThe former FDP MEPs Silvana Koch Mehrin has reported numerous sexual assaults, including by party colleagues. “I was touched. Simply that way. There were always hands on my knee. My chest was touched, and I was given a gentle back massage without being asked,” said Koch-Netz in the Thursday edition of the magazine “Stern”. “And there were always smuts and insinuations – sentences like: ‘I would love to trade with your ice cream ball.'” A party friend once said about her in the evening, “her future lies between her legs”. She herself was within earshot sat.

Regarding her reaction to such incidents, the fifty-one-year-old told the magazine: “I kept quiet and endured it. At most, rolled your eyes. Hands pushed away without a word. Nothing more.” At the time, she wanted to belong and was afraid of “looking bitchy,” Koch-mehrin continued. “I didn’t fight back, I began to talk myself into questioning myself.”

“I was frozen”

“I participated through passivity, didn’t resist and didn’t set any boundaries,” said Koch-Überin about her behavior at the time. “That’s how I supported the system.” The “Stern” spoke to Koch- Mehrin on the occasion of the publication of her book “Now that I’m already not dead”. According to the report, she also describes in it how a MEP wordlessly pushed her hand under her blouse in his room. She was still an intern at the time.

“I was frozen. Then at some point he said: ‘What are you doing there?’ He then laughed in embarrassment and tried to downplay the matter,” Koch-mehrin told Stern. She did not want to name the man today either: “It’s not about personal exposure for me,” but about something fundamental. “I want to tell you that it happened to me. As happens to many women.”

Koch-Netzin had from 2004 to 2014 for the FDP sat in the European Parliament. In 2009 she was her party’s top candidate for the European elections. In 2011, accusations of plagiarism against Koch-Überin came up; she then resigned as chairwoman of the FDP delegation in the European Parliament and as vice-president of the parliament. In fact, the University of Heidelberg withdrew her title. A lawsuit by Koch-Überins, on the other hand, was unsuccessful. Today, Koch- Mehrin heads the Women Political Leaders network, which she founded with the aim of bringing women into political leadership positions.

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