Karen Adam MSP receives death threats after tweet raising awareness of predators
Death threats and vile online abuse have been directed at Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Karen Adam after she posted a message on Twitter highlighting that paedophiles and predators were people living among us and we should face up to it and warn our children.
While the vast majority of people understood her tweet – that they do not stand out but are people who appear to have ‘normal’ lives – some have mistakenly or deliberately misinterpreted her words, leading to a barrage of abuse and threats.
Ms Adam has since reported that she is worried for her safety and that of her family after being told personal details were being shared online.
She has received death threats, vile abuse and been told to kill herself. Someone posted that she would be “put through a wood chipper”.
Ms Adam’s tweet stated : “Paedophiles and predators are people. Not bogey men under the bed. Not Mac- wearing flashers in the street, faceless and nameless. They are our family, friends and colleagues. They are not scary monsters. They are people who abuse. It’s uncomfortable to humanise them because we then have to face the horrors in plain sight.
“Headlines read ‘daughter’ not ‘paedophile’ to provoke something in us. Not for good purpose. But use it. Yes, a daughter did do that. Daughters can be capable of doing that. Horrifying isn’t it? Face it and warn our kids.”
The majority of replies have been positive, acknowledging her point and confirming that they are “people from all walks of life”.
Others highlighted their own shocking experiences of abuse by neighbours, work colleagues, people in positions of responsibility and respected members of the community.
Others, however, claimed she was “trying to normalise paedophilia” and called her stance “revolting”, “disgusting” and “vile”.
After the first part of her message – up to “...It’s uncomfortable to humanise them because…” – was retweeted by Inverclyde councillor and Alba Party general secretary Christopher McEleny, who posted in his own message that the “SNP had been captured by ideological zealots”, the abuse towards Ms Adam spiralled.
That prompted Ms Adam to respond with a further tweet, saying: “This is something that I wished I didn’t have to do but in the course of a few days a tweet I put out has gained a lot of attention, much of which was well received and understood, however, many have deliberately misrepresented my words. So now I’d like to bring clarity.”
She goes on to explain that she herself is a survivor of child sexual assault, and adds: “To anyone denying or dismissing the fact that these predators are anything but people who walk among us who go under cover as ‘respectable’ only enable these people to go unnoticed.”
In a further tweet, she goes on to express her gratitude and thanks for the support she has received from across the political divide, and vows that “I will never wheesht” when speaking the truth about sexual predators.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a complaint has been made regarding online threats and police enquiries are ongoing.”