The website “Everyone’s Invited” – which features thousands of anonymous testimonies from teenage girls of sexual abuse they’ve experienced by their male peers – is shocking. Reports of ‘rape culture’ in secondary schools across the country forces us to confront questions of institutional inadequacy over safeguarding; toxic masculinity, adolescent sexuality and consent; the curriculum, digital safety and criminal justice. Still, there are people who warn that the website is ‘a bandwagon’, amplifying what is a small-scale issue, confined to only a few, mainly private, schools. What can we know about the scale of the problem? Is it really concentrated in private schools, and if so, why? Is harmful sexual behaviour of adolescent boys anything new? Has it been triggered, or exacerbated, by digital technology and access to porn? How can we – teachers, parents, governors, students, health professionals, policymakers.. – begin to re-set the boundaries of what is and is not OK?
editor and invited expert
Discrimination and harassment lawyer at McAllister Olivarius
Founder, Everyone’s Invited
Chief Safeguarding Officer, MyConcern
Head Teacher, Jewish Community Secondary School, Barnet