The editor of the Good Schools Guide has said private schools must take responsibility for boys’ behaviour outside the classroom because they market themselves on their skill at developing a child’s character.
Melanie Sanderson said the schools should remember their marketing materials and talks for parents often boast of the work they do to create well-rounded individuals amid the growing fallout from the schools sex scandal.
It comes after more than 10,000 harrowing reports of alleged sexual assault were posted on website Everyone’s Invited, where students can anonymously share their experiences of misogyny, harassment, abuse and assault.
Accusations have so far named top public schools including Eton, Hampton and Charterhouse, with both girls and boys among the alleged victims.
Ms Sanderson told the Times: ‘When you sign your child up to an independent school, I’ve heard headmasters stand up and say to parents: ‘You need to feed your child and make sure they get enough sleep – we will take care of the rest.’
‘Schools sell themselves on turning out the kind of gentleman you’d like to sit next to at dinner or that your daughter would bring home. If they’re going to make that kind of sweeping statement in marketing materials, they need to stand by that.’
Dulwich College has been hit with allegations of having a ‘rape culture’
Accusations have so far named top public schools including Eton College (pictured), Hampton and Charterhouse, with both girls and boys among the alleged victims
Pupils stage a protest against rape culture at Highgate School in London, Britain
Melanie Sanderson, editor of the Good Schools Guide, said independent schools should remember marketing materials and talks for parents often boast of the work they do to create well-rounded individuals in the fallout from the schools sex scandal
Ofsted ‘was refused greater powers’ to inspect private schools that are at centre of ‘rape culture’ scandal in row with government
By RORY TINGLE FOR MAILONLINE
The chief inspector of schools in England asked for more powers to monitor independent schools over ‘potential safeguarding issues’ but was ignored by ministers, it emerged today.
Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman wrote to the Department for Education from 2018 to 2019 to complain that her organisation was unable to effectively scrutinise the work of the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).
The body inspects the vast majority of independent schools, including elite public schools such as Dulwich College and Westminster that have been at the centre of a ‘rape culture’ scandal involving thousands of allegations of sexual abuse.
Emailed obtained the Guardian show that, in 2018, Spielman told the DfE that Ofsted had not been able to properly monitor the ISI’s inspections of private schools because of official restrictions.
The dispute rumbled on until 2019, when then schools minister Lord Agnew told Spielman that Ofsted’s oversight role over ISI inspections would be instead taken over by the DfE.
Around 80% of private school pupils in England fall under the ISI’s regime, which covers institutions belonging to the Independent Schools Council, a representative body made up of several different ‘associations’.
One of these is the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, which dates back to 1869 and includes the traditional public schools, including Eton and St Paul’s.
One recent advert for a boys’ school says it helps boys to be ‘the best versions of themselves’ so they can ‘become capable, courteous and caring’ young men.
The Good Schools Guide editor added that many schools in the private sector make a ‘good claim of turning out this or that kind of young person’.
Ms Sanderson said if sexual abuse happens at parties it is ‘shared around the peer group [on WhatsApp groups] at school the next day so it’s taken into school’.
Some schools have said they cannot take full responsibility for what happens at parties, with Dulwich College headmaster Joe Spence telling parents in a video: ‘We’ve entered a new world. There’s an expectation now that the school is responsible for things that happen beyond its gates.
‘Let’s see where that lies because that’s taking on a hell of a responsibility, if we really are responsible for your children’s behaviour 24/7 and 12 months a year.’
The Government has ordered Ofsted to launch an immediate probe into the rape culture scandal sweeping through UK schools.
The education watchdog will look at safeguarding policies in state and independent schools and probe the ‘extent and severity of the issue’.
It will also ensure there are appropriate systems in place to allow pupils to report their concerns, the Department for Education said.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson this week branded the reported assaults ‘shocking and abhorrent’ and indicated any schools implicated could face Government measures.
‘This Government is committed to ensuring victims feel supported to refer the most serious allegations to the police via the helpline, safe in the knowledge that everything possible will be done to bring offenders to justice,’ he said.
‘No child or young person should have to experience abuse. But if something isn’t right, they should speak to someone they trust to raise concerns, whether that’s family, a friend, teacher or social worker, helpline or the police.’
Soma Sara, founder of the Everyone’s Invited website, said the team were ‘proud to have started a crucial conversation’ but disappointed the Education Secretary had not contacted them before the announcement.
‘We are encouraged to see that the Government has responded and taken the first initial steps to review rape culture in all schools,’ she said.
‘We await confirmation from Gavin Williamson that Everyone’s Invited will be included in carrying out this review and are disappointed that he did not contact us before this announcement.
‘We are pleased that the Department for Education has worked closely with the police and the NSPCC to ensure that there is a dedicated helpline for everyone who needs it.’
DfE said Ofsted will work with social care, police, victim support groups, school and college leaders, as well as the Independent Schools Council with the review expected to conclude by the end of May.
Earlier this week, shocked head teachers of girls’ private schools said they were talking to current and former students over sex allegations at neighbouring schools.
It comes after more than 10,000 harrowing reports of sexual assault were posted on the Everyone’s Invited website – naming top public schools including Eton College, Hampton and Charterhouse, with both girls and boys among the alleged victims. Pictured: A protest against rape culture at James Allen’s Girls’ School
Soma Sara, founder of the Everyone’s Invited website, said the team were ‘proud to have started a crucial conversation’ but disappointed the Education Secretary had not contacted them before the announcement
‘Shop your own sons’: Police chief urges parents who suspect their child in school sex scandal to contact officers as Sir Keir Starmer calls for inquiry and ‘cultural change’ in attitudes towards girls and women
By JACK WRIGHT AND JAMES ROBINSON FOR MAILONLINE
A police chief has urged parents to hand in their own children to the police if they suspect them of sexual abuse, as Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer urged for ‘cultural change’ in attitudes towards girls and women.
Simon Bailey, who leads the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) on child protection, said that parents who become aware that their son has committed a sexual assault should contact police.
It comes as he revealed officers have received ‘more than 7,000’ testimonies from pupils at schools alleging sexual abuse.
The father-of-two Norfolk chief constable, 56, suggested some schools may have covered up allegations of sexual abuse.
And he said he is expecting to see further reports of abuse at universities and state and private schools.
It comes as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer added his thoughts, as he called for an inquiry and a cultural change in the attitudes towards women.
The Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), which represents more than 100 top British girls’ private schools, said that in some cases they are referring incidents to the police.
GSA schools include James Allen’s Girls’ School (JAGS) – attended by some of the girls making accusations about Dulwich College boys.
On Monday, GSA chief executive Donna Stevens released a statement saying the ‘deeply troubling’ allegations ‘must not be ignored’.
She said: ‘Our schools are taking this issue seriously and talking with current and former students as well as parents to bring about positive change.’
Her words came as a former pupil at JAGS revealed herself to be the co-author of a letter making allegations against Dulwich College pupils.
Eleni Thwaites, now at Oxford University, told her student newspaper that Dulwich boys had a reputation for being ‘entitled and dangerous’. She said that while she herself was not a victim, she was ‘confided in’ by others from the school.
Ms Thwaites told the Oxford Blue: ‘The kind of pack hunting behaviour described here is consistent with many of the testimonies, which describe boys ganging up on girls on the coach or at parties, often with malicious intent.’
Two former Dulwich pupils have been referred to the police after the dossier was presented to the school. Last week, dozens of pupils also walked out of Highgate School in north London in protest at its alleged ‘rape culture’.
Following the announcement, Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman said: ‘Like everyone else, I have been deeply troubled by accounts of the sexual abuse and harassment young people have suffered at school and in the community.
‘So I welcome the Secretary of State’s announcement and the opportunity for Ofsted to lead this review. Schools have a crucial role to play in teaching young people about sexual consent and respect for women and girls.
‘They must also be places where all children feel safe, and where they are able to report any incidents of abuse or harassment and be confident that what they say will be acted upon. We will set out the terms of the review shortly.’
NSPCC chief executive officer Sir Peter Wanless said: ‘This is a watershed moment thanks to those who have found the courage to speak out which is why we have been commissioned by the DfE to set up an independent helpline for children, parents and professionals to seek expert, sensitive advice from the NSPCC and safely report abuse that has happened or is happening in educational settings.
‘At least a third of sexual offences against children are committed by other young people and that must be addressed.
‘All children should be able to grow up in a safe community that is free from sexual violence where their rights are respected.’
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, welcomed the helpline and said: ‘Robust safeguarding is the number one priority of state and independent schools, and we welcome this review of safeguarding policies in the light of the horrific experiences recorded on the Everyone’s Invited website.’
‘We are pleased that Ofsted intends to work with representatives from social care, police, and victim support groups, as well as with school and college leaders, acknowledging that schools alone cannot be the solution.’
A sign reading ‘Educate Your Sons’ is attached to a gate outside James Allen’s School. The school was protesting rape culture at nearby Dulwich College Boys School
‘Sexually assaulted in a tent… humiliated by nude photos… groped on the bus’: Read the harrowing ‘rape culture’ allegations that have rocked Britain’s top schools
By Rory Tingle For Mailonline
Some of Britain’s most prestigious public schools are among those to be hit with thousands of harrowing allegations of sexual assault and harassment that have sparked a rape culture scandal.
Stories revealed on campaigning website Everyone’s Invited include a girl who was allegedly attacked in a tent at a party, and other shocking accounts of revenge porn, harassment and rape.
There are now more than 10,000 complaints on the website naming top public schools including Eton College, Hampton and Charterhouse, with both girls and boys among the alleged victims.
But the claims has now widened, with the number of state schools subject of harrowing allegations increasing by a third.
Soma Sara, 22, the founder of Everyone’s Invited, where people can share their stories of sexual assault
Soma Sara, 22, started the page with Meadow Walker, the daughter of late actor Paul Walker, after they bonded on Instagram when she spoke about surviving abuse after watching BBC drama I May Destroy You last June.
The campaigner lives in France but was educated at an exclusive private Catholic school in Hampstead before boarding at Wycombe Abbey School in Buckinghamshire then completing an English master’s degree at University College London last year.
Her site allows users to submit claims anonymously, with many of the accounts naming the specific school.
Here are just some of the harrowing survivors’ testimonies from a small number of schools out of hundreds. Those mentioned have been contacted for comment.
Pupils stage a protest against rape culture at Highgate School in London
‘I was raped at a party, but my friends were just angry I got everyone kicked out’
Moorside High School: Co-ed secondary school in Stoke-on-Trent.
‘When I was 15 I was at party with my friends. I got really drunk and got pulled into a bathroom with two 18-year-old boys one left while the other one raped me.
‘I was left prompt outside the bathroom door crying and screaming ”he’s raped me” because of this the party got broken up and everyone got kicked out. All my friends hated me and told me it was my fault.
‘The next day all my friends message me telling me how much of slag I was how I’d ruined everyone’s night.
‘One friend told me I could of ruined that boys like by making accusations.’
Moorside High School is a co-ed secondary school in Stoke-on-Trent that has been named on Everyone’s Invited
‘He shared my nude photos with friends and it totally humiliated me’
Hampton School: Independent boy’s school in south-west London founded in 1557.
‘In year 9 a boy at Hampton school kept asking me for nudes and at the time I trusted him and liked him.
‘I thought everything was fine until I heard from people that he had an app on his phone to screenshot Snapchat photos without the person knowing. I heard he did this to me and shared the photos with his friends and this completely humiliated me.
‘He then tried to make me send again I said no and told him I knew he had photos but he denied having them on his camera roll.
‘All his friends knew and I was so embarrassed I told no one. Scary to think someone you trust can do that to you. Years later he admitted to it but laughed it off.’
It is not known which school the girl attended.
A girl claimed on Everyone’s Invited that she had been repeatedly hectored for nudes by a boy at Hampton (pictured)
‘I woke up to a girl attempting to touch me – some people don’t realise consent is for boys too’
Parmiters School: Co-ed state comprehensive with academy status in Watford that dates back to 1681.
‘It was at a party, I was asleep and I woke up and a girl was attempting to touch me. I was drunk. I have no consent.
‘Some people don’t realise that consent goes both ways.’
‘He said he wanted to rape me and knew where I lived’
George Abbot School: Co-ed secondary school and sixth form with academy status in Guildford.
‘I was 16 with very little experience with men. A boy in school started saying hi to me in the library, I thought nothing of it and carried on with my studies.
‘On the evening that we finished our last GCSE the boy sent me about 25 Snapchat videos explaining in detail how he would f*** me and rape me and that he knew where I lived and he would come to my house.
‘He was drunk and his friends filmed him talking about my body and laughing about what he would do to me and sent me those videos too.
‘I remember I felt paralysed and couldn’t leave the house for days afterwards.’
One of the testimonies accuses a pupil at George Abbot School (pictured) of boasting about how he would ‘rape’ a girl in online videos
‘I was assaulted in a tent at a friend’s party’
Eton College: World famous independent boarding school in Berkshire charging £48,501 per year.
‘We were all sleeping in tents at my mate’s party.
‘And I fell asleep around 2. I woke up to a boys fingers inside me and him on top of me.
‘I pretended to stay asleep until I figured out what to do.’
It is not known which school the girl attended.’
A spokesman said: ‘Eton insists that all our pupils treat others with kindness, decency and respect. Specific allegations are always taken extremely seriously and we work closely with the relevant external authorities when necessary.
‘We run workshops about healthy relationships and educate our pupils about consent. A number of further initiatives are in advanced planning. However, we must never be complacent and are always seeking to learn.’
Eton said today: ‘Specific allegations are always taken extremely seriously and we work closely with the relevant external authorities when necessary’
‘At an after party with other boys from Charterhouse I woke up to find one of my good friends naked on top of me’
Charterhouse: Historic boarding and day school in Godalming, Surrey, with fees of £40,695 each year.
‘I was at an after party with all of my friends. I was very drunk and blacked out. I woke up to one of my good guy friends naked on top of me and they had taken my pants and trousers off.
‘They were trying to have sex with me and when I woke up I was in the most pain I’ve ever been in. When they saw I had woken up they started shouting at me for bleeding onto the bed.
‘They made me feel so uncomfortable and embarrassed me about the situation. I walked home at four in the morning very confused but feeling really guilty and ashamed with myself as they had embarrassed me. I was in a relationship with a friend of theirs and they manipulated the situation so I wouldn’t really tell anyone.’
This testimony was from a boy.
‘He forced himself on me, I felt like I couldn’t breathe’
Cranbrook School: Co-ed state funded boarding and day grammar school in Kent.
‘I was under the age of consent and he was two years over it. I was at a party and it was one of my first times drinking heavily and when he started to kiss me I was so excited – until he pushed my head down to his penis and held it there and it felt like I couldn’t breathe.
‘Until he took me to his car where I blacked out to the memory of him forcing himself inside me. I woke up unconscious in a corridor of the party having lost my shoes, my pants and my bra, having a hazy recollection of what had happened.
‘When I went into school the next day I was labelled a slut for having had sex so young and so publicly, while a photo of my lost bra and shoes circulated around school. Surely people would have realised that if I was so drunk to have lost my shoes and underwear, I couldn’t have had the capacity to give consent?
‘If you recognise this story, please don’t contact me about it – I just wanted people to see it from my point of view, and maybe feel confident to share stories about their own experiences of Cranbrook, where I felt that rape culture was really normalised.’
A spokesman said the school was ‘deeply concerned’ about the allegations.
Cranbrook School is a co-ed state funded boarding and day grammar school in Kent
‘A boy assaulted me, then his girlfriend called me a slut’
Cardinal Newman College: Co-ed Catholic sixth form college in Preston.
‘During my time at six form, my best friends boyfriend got me drunk to the point of unconsciousness, took me to bed, asked her to leave the room and then assaulted me. He was completely sober.
‘I still to this day thank god it wasn’t worse. That she came into the room and stopped it before it went further. That makes me so angry that I’m grateful.
‘After this happened her boyfriend told her that I had missed him. She believed him even though she’d seen what was happening. She told me I was a slut and never spoke to me again.’
‘His defence was he’s gay and didn’t enjoy it’
Lincoln Minster School: Co-ed day and boarding school charging £14,460 per year that traces its roots back to 1265.
‘I was on a school trip when I was 14, a boy in front on the bus leant back and stroked my legs, sticking his fingers in the rips in my jeans, ”accidentally” touching my crotch and breasts.
‘We told a teacher she said she’d talk to him, his defence was that he’s gay and didn’t enjoy it.
‘I haven’t worn those jeans since.’
Lincoln Minster School is a co-ed day and boarding school charging £14,460 per year that traces its roots back to 1265
‘He pointed at me and said ”you’re too frigid for this, you’re too frigid for that”’
Fortismere School: Mixed secondary school and sixth form in Muswell Hill, Greater London.
‘I was barely 14 and was at the guy I liked’s house. I had only ever kissed boys before, and only known this boy for about 3 weeks. We were sat in his living room with a drinking games book, just reading the different games.
‘He started going through the stripping/sex ones and pointing them saying ”you’re too frigid for this, you’re too frigid for that”.
‘At the time I didn’t even know what sexual harassment was, so I just was embarrassed and didn’t want him to think I was frigid. I sat there near tears and never mentioned it again.
‘After 6 months of him making manipulative jokes and hints about sex or what other couples were doing compared to us, I lost my virginity to him on my 15th birthday week. I regret it so much, and still blame myself.’
Fortismere School is a mixed secondary school and sixth form in Muswell Hill, Greater London
‘I was sexually assaulted by my best friend’
Lord Williams School: Co-educational secondary school with academy status in Thame, Oxfordshire.
‘I was sexually assaulted by my best friend (male) and my nudes were leaked around school.
‘I later found out that there was a large group of guys that had a group chat where they would share girls nudes that they had received.’
‘My ex tried to rape me three times’
Winchester College: Famous 600-year-old independent school charging £31,350 a year.
‘My ex from Winchester kept nudes of me on an album and still has them I believe a year later yeah sad plus he tried to rape me three times.
‘Thankfully I got out of this unstable relationship.
‘I think guys should realise that this is a place for them to speak up to and girls need to understand that they get hurt too even if less .’
A woman writing anonymously on the website said her ex from Winchester (pictured) tried to rape her three times
Kingston Grammar School: Independent school dating back to the 13th century that charges £6,840 per term.
‘I was in maybe year 9 quite insecure and got drunk with my friends for the first time.
‘I was happy having a good time when we decided to travel and this boy decided to travel with us.
‘He molested my chest in public my legs and was sticking his tongue down my throat.
‘He was completely sober whereas I was not and he knew this as he kept on making repeated jokes.
‘I asked him to stop and he would continue ignoring me saying we were having a good time. Nobody did anything to stop it.’
‘The boy begged and begged… it was coercive behaviour’
Godolphin and Latymer: An independent girls’ school in London – the account did not say which school the boy attended.
‘We were going to have sex for the first time, I was a virgin. Something felt off and I decided I didn’t want to.
‘He begged and begged and then asked me if I would ”at least” give him a b******.
‘I didn’t feel like that either but I did it because I didn’t want to upset him – it was coercive behaviour but it didn’t match up with what I’d been told about how sexual harassment looked so I didn’t think much more about it.’
A former pupil at Godolphin and Latymer shared her story on the site but did not say which school the boy attended
‘I was repeatedly groped at a party’
Fettes College: Co-ed school in Edinburgh charging £29,925 per year.
‘I was 15, it was at a party. I was being repeatedly groped in the mosh pit but couldn’t figure out who it was as every time I turned around it was different people.
‘It just kept happening over and over again, I didn’t know when the groping would stop.
‘I went to different locations of the party area with other people but it just kept happening. I then discovered it was these three guys who were all my good friends.
‘Still they’d come hug me around my waist and I pushed one of them away, but they still continued to target me that night.’
A pupil at Fettes College said she was ‘repeatedly’ groped in the mosh pit at a party
‘A boy slapped me on the a*** as he and his friends laughed about it’
St Paul’s: Independent school in Barnes, south-west London, charging £12,997 per term for boarders.
‘I went to a St. Paul’s party and I was alone while my friends went to the bathroom.
‘A group of boys approached me and one slapped my a*** and they all laughed about it.
‘I didn’t tell my friends because I was too embarrassed but I feel completely fearful to this day.’
A former schoolgirl claimed she was slapped on the bottom by a St Paul’s boy as his friends laughed
‘I never spoke to anyone because my ex was really popular’
A second account referring to a boy from St Paul’s.
‘My ex-boyfriend and I were at a party when I was about 15. He got really drunk and started exposing everything about our sex life in front of all of his toxic rugby friends. I was so humiliated that I started crying in another room on my own.
‘After this, one of his friends came into the room and started coming onto me, using things that had been exposed about my private sex life as an excuse to get with me.
‘He was saying things like ”well he (my ex) said you like doing this, so you should with me, I know you want to”.
‘This went on for about 30 minutes, with him eventually coercing me into doing things I really didn’t want to do. However, because I was so terrified and vulnerable I couldn’t stand up for myself.
‘I have never spoken about it to anyone because my ex was really popular and the ”alpha male”, therefore had I said anything about his best friend, he and everyone else would never believe me.’
The school said: ‘This is clearly a difficult and complex issue which has deeply affected our school community. The school completely condemns the actions described on the Everyone’s Invited site… we are taking them extremely seriously.’
‘A HABS boy pushed himself onto me without consent’
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School: Hertfordshire public school charging £7,000 a term.
‘When I was 13, I was taken into a room by a HABS boy and he started touching me aggressively and physically pushed himself onto me with no consent. I didn’t really know what was happening.
‘Years later, I was on a coach journey with him and when I was asleep he started trying to touch me.
‘I was disgusted. Then, last year a girl spoke out about being raped by him in uni.’
The girl attended North London Collegiate School.
‘I said no but he went ahead anyway’
Malvern College: Independent co-ed day and boarding school in Worcestershire.
‘While I was at boarding school I got a boyfriend one day I really wasn’t feeling ok and he asked if we could do something and after I had said no he proceeded to do things anyway.
‘It wasn’t anything we hadn’t done before but my head space was really out of it then and I don’t even think he realized what he did.’
‘It’s not just private school boys’
Walworth Academy: Co-ed secondary school and sixth form in London.
‘So many of these stories are concerning private school boys, but it’s not just them. I was 16 he was 18, I have never felt comfortable enough to call it ”rape” but I was sexually assaulted.
‘I have always felt it was my fault for inviting him round or not making myself clearer when I said no. Every time I walk into my bedroom I can see myself pinned down by him, unable to move, my bed is a constant reminder of that day.
‘Recently he tried to message me again, to ”chat to me”, as he is still completely unaware of how wrong what he did was.
‘I didn’t go to the police because he was over 18 and I had a sense of guilt of potentially sending him to prison, I regret that everyday.
‘If I have to think about what he did to me most days, he should be locked away being forced to think about it everyday.’
The girl went to West London Girls School.
Walworth Academy is a co-ed secondary school and sixth form in London
‘I felt coerced and manipulated into doing things with him’
Abingdon Boys School: Independent day and boarding school that charges £42,105 a year for boarders.
‘Too many of my friends (including myself) have been sexually assaulted, harassed or objectified by Abingdon boys.
‘I dated a boy in the year above me from there when I was 16 and felt manipulated and coerced into doing a majority of things with him.
‘He pressured me into having sex in the back of his car in a public car park which, after a lot of fighting back, I was able to argue my way out of. His response was that I was being ”frigid”.
‘As someone with a younger family member at the school I can already see his attitude towards girls his own age changing and that’s something really scary to watch.
‘During my time at school I knew a lot of boys there who would encourage that sort of behaviour towards women and it’s made worse by the ”lad culture” and arrogant attitudes a majority seem to be supportive of.
‘Change needs to come from within and it needs to be spearheaded by those in charge.’
‘Boys shared videos of girls at the college having sex without their knowledge they were being recorded’
St Dominic’s Sixth Form College: Roman Catholic sixth form college in Harrow on the Hill, north-west London.
‘A bunch of boys had a group chat where they would post videos of them having sex with girls within the college, the girls were unaware they were even being recorded.’
‘I was groped by an older boy in a boys’ boarding house’
King’s School Canterbury: Mixed boarding and day school founded in 597 – making it perhaps the world’s oldest extant school.
‘I was groped in a boys boarding house by another boy 2 years older, for some time I laughed it off until it was revealed later that there were other victims of his.
‘School did not deal with him appropriately to say the least, I’m not surprised if there were more victims that did not speak about their encounters.’
‘He tilted the screen of the video chat to show he was masturbating’
Hayes School: Mixed secondary school with academy status in Bromley, Greater London.
‘I was chatting on social media with a male friend from school. I was 13 and he was 16. While we were messaging he suggested turning video on.
‘I didn’t think anything of this, as it was normal among my friends to chat whilst on video, and we were literally chatting about nothing…
‘Within a couple of minutes, and with absolutely no prompt, he tilted the screen down to show me he was masturbating. I completely panicked at 13 years of age, shut my laptop and never spoke to him again.
‘I thought about telling my teachers, but when none of my friends believed me, I realised it was simply my word against his and that there was no point dredging it all up through the school.
‘After all, I could just spent the next three years avoiding him in the corridors until he left school for uni.’
Hayes School is a mixed secondary with academy status in Bromley, Greater London
‘A friend started touching me inappropriately on top of my clothes’
The Totteridge Academy: A mixed secondary school in Barnet, North London.
‘I was at the park with my friends on the last day of school. We were all having a great time messing around in the playground.
‘We were under a small hut when one of my friends started touching me inappropriately on top of my clothes. I was in shock and felt like I couldn’t move.
‘He was about to move his hand under my clothes when I got the courage to move.
‘I got home to messages with him saying he’ll kill himself because I didn’t want to be with him and it left me apologising to him thinking he was the victim.’
How ex private school pupil, 22, behind Everyone’s Invited co-founded movement from her grandmother’s Paris home with actor Paul Walker’s daughter
By Martin Robinson for MailOnline
The former boarding school girl whose personal account of ‘rape culture’ has snowballed into a sex scandal engulfing Britain’s entire education sector launched her campaign from the bedroom of her grandmother’s home in Paris during lockdown.
Soma Sara, 22, started the Everyone’s Invited movement with Meadow Walker, the daughter of late actor Paul Walker, after they bonded on Instagram when she spoke about surviving abuse after watching BBC drama I May Destroy You last June.
The campaigner lives in France but was educated at an exclusive private Catholic school in Hampstead before boarding at Wycombe Abbey School in Buckinghamshire then completing an English master’s degree at University College London last year.
Soma Sara, 22, started the Everyone’s Invited movement to allow people to share their testimonies
Miss Sara’s campaign claiming ‘rape culture is everywhere’ has engulfed thousands of UK schools and universities but also gained huge traction from all over the world, especially in the United States, with Miss Walker running the project across the Atlantic.
Fast and Furious actor Mr Walker was killed in a car crash in 2013, leaving behind his daughter Meadow, then 15.
Now 22, Meadow, runs the global foundation in her famous father’s name and is now using her Instagram account with 2.5million followers to support teenagers who suffered sexual abuse in schools and universities as a co-founder and trustee of Everyone’s Invited, which is run by volunteers.
Miss Sara – who has previously said she is half Chinese and has an American grandmother – started the campaign after she and some friends discussed their stories of being abused, shamed and teased by boys.
She claimed their experiences were ‘characterised by an endemic rape culture’ and that ‘misogyny and sexism was the bedrock’.
Meadow Walker, the daughter of late actor Paul Walker, runs the global foundation in her famous father’s name
Miss Sara said she had spoken to her American grandmother about the abuse, and told the Times: ‘She says it’s been going on forever. It’s still a very patriarchal society and boys feel the need to prove themselves to each other. The only new thing is the social media technology which exacerbates and spreads these behaviours.’
Miss Sara added that she had been ‘fetishised for being Asian’, being told: ‘Where are you really from? Can I get with you?’ and ‘constantly being compared with this Japanese porn star’. Miss Sara added: ‘I’m half Chinese. It was really disturbing but I accepted it.’
Created last year, contributions to the Everyone’s Invited website have surged since the murder of Sarah Everard from South London earlier this month.
Although hundreds of prestigious private schools have been named and shamed, many other women have also used the platform to reveal their ordeals within the state education system, at university or the family home.