Over 80 universities in the UK have been called out for doing little to address cases of sexual assault, abuse and misogyny. This is after more than 15,000 people shared anonymously about their traumatic experience on a site called Everyone’s Invited.
Everyone’s Invited, a social site where victims of sexual assault, abuse and misogyny around the world are able to share their horrors anonymously, has had tremendous growth in popularity in the last few weeks.
The website, which was founded in June 2020 by Soma Sara as an avenue to share traumatic experiences exposing the rape culture through conversation, education and support has given voice to survivors of rape culture. To date over 15,00 allegations of harassment have been submitted on the site, with many of these assaults happening at higher learning institutions.
This week, the campaign behind the website released a list of 86 UK universities that anonymous users had mentioned as places where these assaults happened. Although Everyone’s Invited platform had stopped collecting school data for the safety of the anonymous poster and fears that the victims could be outed if the institutions were mentioned, they indicated that they were considering reinstating the functionality which would allow the naming and shaming of these universities which have perpetuated the rape culture.
The culprit universities
Among those named in the list of the over 80 universities believed to be breeding grounds for sexual harassment included Oxford University and Exeter. The universities were mentioned more than 50 times by victims.
The report also showed that of the 17 universities that had been mentioned in the platform more than 5 times, 15 are Russel Group universities, which are some of the most prestigious and selective universities in the UK.
Soma Sara in an interview with the PA news agency, emphasized that the site had shown that sexual assault was happening in almost all universities in the UK. She emphasized that the rape culture had infiltrated every facet of life including higher learning institutions.
Ofsted had already taken note of the report, announcing last week that they would be carrying out reviews in these universities to determine if they had effective safeguard measures to prevent sexual abuse, following the disturbing reports.
Everyone’s Invited has now turned its focus on the over 80 universities that have been mentioned on their platform and urging them to do more to prevent sexual assaults on the campus.
Statistics showed that Exeter had been mentioned 65 times, whereas Oxford had 57 mentions on the website. Other prestigious universities that had been mentioned included University College London (48 mentions), King’s College London (28 mentions) and London School of Economics (26 mentions).
Russel Group spokesman responded to the report by indicating that no student should feel unsafe or tolerate harassment and sexual misconduct under any circumstance. He promised that the Group’s universities were taking the issue seriously and would work together to ensure the problems are addressed.
University of Exeter spokesman also addressed the report indicating that the safety, security and wellbeing of students were of primary concern to the institution. He said the university would continuously work to ensure that such concerns are addressed permanently.