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Top London universities named on website sharing sexual harassment experiences

Robert Dex
·2-min read
<p>A protest against sexual harassment at Highgate School which helped inspire the Everyone’s Invited campaign</p> (Reuters)

A protest against sexual harassment at Highgate School which helped inspire the Everyone’s Invited campaign

(Reuters)

Several of London’s top universities have been named on a website where students anonymously share experiences of sexual harassment, abuse, assault and misogyny.

University College London, King’s College London and the London School of Economics are all mentioned on the Everyone’s Invited website which highlights allegations of a “rape culture” in schools.

Of the 17 universities in the UK with more than five mentions on the website, 15 are Russell Group universities – which are traditionally the most selective institutions in the UK.

Website founder Soma Sara told the PA news agency: “As Everyone’s Invited has emphasised from the outset, rape culture is everywhere including in all universities.”

Her comments came after more than 14,800 testimonies have been posted on the site which hit the headlines after pupils at the prestigious Highgate School held a protest against alleged behaviour there.

The north London private school has announced it will hold an independent review into issues raised.

Last week, Ofsted said it would be visiting a sample of schools and carrying out a review into whether institutions had effective safeguarding measures in place following allegations of sexual abuse.

Now Everyone’s Invited is turning its attention to the 84 UK universities which have been named by students.

In just one week – between March 26 and April 2 – the website received more than 1,000 new testimonies from universities, the campaigners say.

The University of Exeter was mentioned 65 times, while the University of Oxford was mentioned 57 times.

Edinburgh and Leeds universities were also both mentioned 53 times.

University College London had 48 mentions, King’s College London had 28 and there were 26 for the London School of Economics.

When asked why more prestigious universities had more mentions, Ms Sara told PA: “There are logical reasons for this bias. The platform is still new, and it has grown through word of mouth, with friends sharing it with friends.

“I went to a private school and then a university in London. As a result, we received an abundance of testimonies from certain areas and groups.”

A Russell Group spokesman said: “No student should feel unsafe or have to tolerate harassment or sexual misconduct in any circumstance. Our universities take this issue incredibly seriously and provide a range of support to help students feel supported and safe.

“Where a crime has been committed it should be reported to the police. The testimonies highlighted via the Everyone’s Invited website show the need for us all to take this issue seriously.

“Our members are working with Universities UK to address this issue at a sector-wide level and will continue to do so to ensure campuses are places of safety and respect for others at all times.”

Read More

‘Rape culture’ cannot remain the norm in our society, says charity chief Nimco Ali

How Everyone’s Invited’s ‘rape culture’ claims sparked a #MeToo movement in UK schools

Metropolitan Police investigating abuse reports from anti rape culture website