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British elite schools face appraisal of rape culture




“I can imagine the hallway it took place in. His hand on his neck chokes me,” she says. “But I put my hand down on my pants… it hurts. I told him to stop.”

Moon said the five-hour attack took place off-school in a secluded cottage on the southern coast of England, and a friend of Benenden, the elite schoolgirl boarding school she attended, rented over the weekend. At the time, she was 15 years old.

Boys from two men’s schools who hang out frequently, such as Eaton and Tonbridge, were also there and watched her fight attackers many times. But no one intervened, she says.

“We are privileged kids, but despite all the money going into math and lacrosse classes, we don’t spend a dime teaching our students about this type of behavior, the right to be safe from shameful behavior.” I remember her school days.

“And it’s important that we talk about this, because these are the people who will keep running the country in some cases,” she adds.

Eton, who has educated incumbent Boris Johnson and numerous British Prime Ministers, including William and Prince Harry, told CNN that he was running a workshop on healthy relationships and teaching students about consent. It has always said that it takes certain charges extremely seriously, supports those affected and works with police and children’s services where appropriate.

“Protecting the well-being of young people is our top priority,” Eton said in a statement. “Everyone involved in education has a responsibility to recognize that we can and should do more to make meaningful and lasting change for the benefit of all young people.”

The school did not address CNN’s specific questions about what Zanmun argued.

‘Rape culture’

Like more and more young women in England, Moon Jae-in is talking about her experiences, begging for the memories of others, and breaking the stigma of discussing the “rape culture” prevalent in schools.

What’s bursting is a chorus of anger, drowning the deaf silences surrounding the sexual assault problem in the former school children.

President Moon wrote an open letter to the heads of Eaton, Tonbridge, etc. after writing a 15-page document on the alleged case at various institutions, and said she “operates deep inside a private boys’ school in England.” . “”It’s over now,” she wrote.

After reading President Moon’s letter, Tonbridge Principal James Priory expressed “significant concern” in a statement that such behavior could not be possible at school. Tonbridge also said in a statement that it would teach consent to students and refer the case to authorities if necessary.

“‘We carefully listen to the words of students, staff and alumni, as well as anyone who has contacted directly outside the school, in establishing what we can do to ensure that sexual harassment and abuse is never tolerated and not everyone will accept it. I will listen. I will be able to get support and move forward if I want to.”

Moon Jae-in’s letter follows the Everyone’s Invited initiative, a website that has collected more than 13,000 testimonies detailing the rape culture of British schools from current and former students.

This includes explanations that a 10-year-old child has been sexually committed, a 12-year-old child has had sex, and is suspected of sexual assault. All at age 16 are much lower than the age of legal consent in the UK. The testimony also included allegations of incidents that took place at state schools and colleges, highlighting the pervasive nature of bullying and violence against British women, which has been sharply mitigated by the recent murder of 33-year-old London-born Sara Everard. Walking from friend’s house to house.

“It’s a lot more spacious than the school it’s named,” says Soma Sara, founder of Everyone’s Invited, a London native and a former student at Wycombe Abbey Girls’ School. “There is a culture throughout our society that embraces sexual violence and harassment. It is a culture that can common sense and normalize the worst behavior and create an environment in which sexual violence can exist and thrive.”

Promised new helplines and actions

On Thursday, the UK Ministry of Education launched a new helpline to support potential victims of sexual harassment and abuse in the educational setting. The government also issued an immediate review of state and independent schools’ protection policies. Meanwhile, London’s Metropolitan Police are investigating several specific crimes in connection with allegations against Everyone’s Invited, and police are encouraging survivors of sexual violence to speak up and seek assistance.

“We have since received many reports of certain crimes.

Also, where the school is named on this website, the police are in contact with the school and provide professional assistance for potential victims of sexual assault. “The Metropolitan Police wrote in a press release.

“We understand the complex and varied reasons many victim survivors do not contact law enforcement agencies, but I personally want to assure everyone in need of our help that we are absolutely here for you.” Said the detective, The Met’s lead to rape and sex offenses. Superintendent Mel Laremore.

Due to the anonymous nature of posts shared on these platforms, it is difficult to investigate claims if they are not specific.

Individual schools have also started investigating. Highgate School in northern London, where 11-year-old young girls strike in protest, commissioned an immediate external review of allegations of sexual abuse and harassment allegedly raised in student testimony. It said in a statement:

“We are deeply shocked and terrified by the charges that have been revealed recently. The high gates they describe are completely against the values ​​of our community as a whole. I’m very sorry.”

King’s College School in Wimbledon, southwest London, has also commissioned an independent review and says it will not tolerate any form of abuse or discrimination.

“The school has built a system to handle and provide support for past or present student disclosures, and we urge everyone affected by these issues to move forward.”

Everyone’s Invited website has stopped posting school names along with testimony, but the debate continues. Hundreds of school names have been named on the site, but current and former student Like Moon has written open letters to teachers detailing their experiences with misogyny, abuse, and sexual violence.

A letter by former Dulwich University student Samuel Schulenburg accused the School of Boys in South London as “a breeding ground for sex offenders.” This letter was written to his former principal to raise awareness of Dulwich University’s problems, and he told detailed anonymous stories of sexual assault and harassment submitted by girls at the James Allen Girls’ School (JAGS), Dulwich University’s sister school. Gave.

Regarding the open letter and the charges of anonymity, Dulrich University principal Joe Spence said in a statement: “The behavior described is painful and totally unacceptable. We blame it unconditionally.”

“We cannot comment on anonymous testimony,” Spence added, “but all specific and evidenced claims will be resolved and will involve external authorities where appropriate.” “As boys, the first thing we need to do is to listen to women and girls tell us about their experiences and concerns. But we also have to play a role as boys educators in making the difference.”

Victims request school transfer

Children’s Commissioner Rachel de Souza said in a statement that the school “has no excuses” for not following protection guidelines and not providing victim support. Activists and women activists say more preventive education is needed even in schools long before puberty begins. Elizabeth Bralsford says she is the former principal of Solace Women’s Aid, a charity that supports survivors of sexual violence and conducts educational workshops in schools.

“Every time you go in to run a series of sessions on healthy relationships, young people will come forward and talk about their experiences,” Brailsford said. “It’s too common for schools to suggest girls who have been publicly disclosed to leave school, even if they’re not the ones who have committed sexual violence,” she added.

Women’s rights activists say this is not surprising in a country where sexual violence is being prosecuted at a much lower rate than in the past few years.

According to data from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), rape prosecution rates declined by 30% between 2019 and 2020 compared to the previous year. According to CPS data, more than 55,000 cases of rape were recorded in 2019-2020, but only 1.4% led to sue or subpoena, according to CPS data, sexual assault, rape, and sexual assault attempts are often unreported and rape culture experiences are difficult to quantify. Even wider. According to statistics from the Office of Statistics (ONS), less than 16% of victims in England and Wales report experiences of assault to the police. However, for women aged 16 to 74, more than 1 in 20 (6.2%) reported that they have ever attempted rape or rape, 4.8% have experienced sexual assault, and 58% of girls aged 14 to 21 reported being publicly harassed. . According to a new survey by global children’s charity, Plan International

“I realized very recently that most of the sexual relationships I had as a child were not what I had agreed upon,” Moon says.

“The best private school system is designed to protect the boy’s outlook and the school’s reputation,” said Moon. That’s a priority. “What happens to our girls doesn’t matter to them.”

Li-Lian Ahlskog Hou contributed to this report.

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