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More than 9,000 allegations of sexual violence and abuse have been made by school pupils on Everyone’s Invited, a website dedicated to gathering testimonies from survivors as young as nine about their experiences. Many of the testimonies describe the perpetrators as young men who were or are their peers at school, college or university.
Soma Sara, founder of the website, has highlighted the prevalence of ‘rape culture’ and how it is a problem for all schools. The experiences raised in the accounts include sexual harassment, groping at Christmas parties, image-based abuse, revenge porn, non-consensual sharing of intimate photos, sexism and misogyny. Ms Sara raised concerns about such actions, and how normalising them could lead to more extreme criminal acts, such as rape and sexual assault.
In response to the allegations, education secretary, Gavin Williamson, has described the accounts as ‘shocking and abhorrent’. Norfolk’s Chief Constable Bailey warned that pornography was contributing towards this type of behaviour by distorting how some young people view relationships. He also described how he believes schools have covered up sexual offences to protect their reputations. One survivor that has come forward has described how she suffered from PTSD following sexual assault at school, and how the actions taken by the school made it more traumatising. Another survivor has alleged that her school asked her to sign a non-disclosure agreement following sexual assault.
Police are asking victims to come forward to report the incidents, even if they occurred years ago.
If you are a victim of sexual abuse or violence that occurred whilst a student at school, college or university, our experienced Abuse team are here to help. We have assisted many survivors of sexual abuse or violence to secure compensation for the impact this has had on their lives. For a confidential discussion call the team on 0113 877 1834 or send them an email for a no obligation chat.