Everyone’s Invited: What is the website with 10,000 sexual abuse complaints and will there be an inquiry?

Site features experiences of misogyny, harassment, abuse and assault from university-age students to pupils as young as nine

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 30 March 2021 12:09 BST
A placard reading ‘End Rape Culture’ attached to the fence outside James Allen’s Girls’ School in London
A placard reading ‘End Rape Culture’ attached to the fence outside James Allen’s Girls’ School in London (Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

The government has been called upon to launch an independent inquiry following thousands of complaints of sexual abuse in schools.

Here is what you need to know about the story.

Where has the story come from?

Thousands of reports have been posted on the Everyone’s Invited website, where young women and girls can anonymously share their experiences of misogyny, harassment, abuse and assault over the past week.

Many of the stories named schools where abuse was said to have happened, or where their attacker attended.

While not all testimonies posted on the site relate to school or university, with some posts detailing alleged incidents within families or on the street, many were prompted to share experiences of abuse in education following allegations that a “rape culture” exists at a number of independent schools throughout the country.

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The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, has called the allegations “shocking and abhorrent”.

What is Everyone’s Invited?

Everyone’s Invited was was set up last year as a place where victims, mostly in schools, are encouraged to record their experiences of sexual assault and abuse.

It features accounts from university-age students to pupils as young as nine.

They range from reports of people being drugged and raped at parties to explicit images being shared around.

Soma Sara, who founded the website, has said a "rape culture" is "endemic" within the education system.

The site also allows pupils to directly report crimes to the Metropolitan Police.

Calls for an inquiry

Labour has called for “swift and decisive action” and an independent inquiry.

In a letter to Mr Williamson, shadow education secretary Kate Green and shadow domestic violence and safeguarding minister Jess Phillips called on the government to develop a national strategy to tackle the issue.

"Swift and decisive action is needed to make sure that the education system is safe for every young person, and that sexist or misogynistic attitudes towards women and girls are stamped out early," they said.

Ms Green said: "It is extremely concerning to see these reports of sexual harassment and abuse across the education system.

"Ministers have let young people down with their dangerous and irresponsible resistance to calls for a strategy to tackle sexism and sexual harassment in the education system."

Ms Phillips added: "The government have known the scale of sexual harassment and abuse in schools, colleges and universities for years and have done nowhere near enough to tackle this endemic problem.

"Every student is entitled to an education free from the threat of sexual violence or harassment."

Additional reporting by agencies

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