The London Police Department says it is looking into a number of suspected crimes detailed on a website set up by a young woman to expose incidents of sexual abuse, assault, and “rape culture” at schools around the UK. Soma Sara, 22, founded the Everyone’s Invited website last year for students to anonymously report “misogyny, harassment, bullying, and attack.”
More than 5,800 accounts have been posted on the web, which has prompted a national outcry dubbed a “Me Too” moment for Britain’s schools.
The Metropolitan Police Service announced on Saturday that it was updating the platform to see whether any victims of crime in London could be persuaded to report crimes to the authorities.
According to the force, it had “received a range of reports of particular offences” involving accounts created on the website.
Many of the complaints have been made against private schools, including some of the country’s most prestigious.
That may be because state-run schools collaborated with the police force in a structured “safer schools network,” according to Scotland Yard’s lead officer for rape and sexual crimes, Detective Superintendent Mel Laremore.
She told the BBC that inside private schools, “there isn’t a safer schools network.” Laremore, on the other hand, claims the topic is “wider than private schools.”
According to her, the website identified more than 100 schools from around the UK.
“We take all sexual harassment allegations very seriously,” Laremore said.
“We understand the nuanced and varied reasons that many victims and survivors do not contact law enforcement, but I want to personally remind everyone who needs our support that we are always available.”
Highgate School students held a classroom walkout this week at the 456-year-old north London school, which charges fees of 21,600 pounds ($30,000) per year. The demonstration came after a dossier of more than 200 testimonies was sent to school governors alleging that a “rape culture” was tolerated at Highgate, which had been a boys-only school for decades before becoming coeducational in 2004.
The school’s governors were “horrified and profoundly disturbed” by the accusations, according to a statement, and have appointed Anne Rafferty, a retired judge, to conduct an investigation.
After reports of sexual assault were made by girls from nearby schools, the headmaster of Dulwich College, a prestigious boys’ private school in south London, said he had referred some students to the police.