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‘Rape Culture’ Is A Growing Problem At Both Private And State Schools, Police Say

‘Rape Culture’ Is A Growing Problem At Both Private And State Schools, Police Say

The anonymous website Everyone's Invited has received more than 7,800 testimonies from pupils across the country.

Gregory Robinson

Gregory Robinson

The head of the Met Police's rape and sexual offences unit has spoken out after more than 100 schools across the country had been cited on an anonymous website where students can share accounts of assault.

Detective Superintendent Mel Laremore spoke to BBC Radio 4 after the Met Police said it will investigate the anonymous submissions shared on the Everyone's Invited website, where people can post instances of 'misogyny, harassment, abuse and assault'.

The website has received more than 7,800 testimonies after it was set up by 22-year-old student Soma Sara, The Observer reports. She told the Sunday paper it is a "universal problem".

Detective Superintendent Mel Laremore said the police will investigate anonymous submissions on the Everyone's Invited website (

She said: "I think it's so important that we don't narrow our focus to private schools, because it risks making these cases seem like they're rare or anomalies, or that these patterns of abuse can only happen in certain places. But no, they happen everywhere, all the time. And they can happen to anyone."

DS Laremore told Radio 4 that the large number of testimonies on the Everyone's Invited website showed that more needed to be done across both private and state schools to make pupils feel safe.

She said on Radio 4's Today programme: "I think it's more widespread than private schools.

"I think we're still looking into the exact scope of how wide this is spread, but certainly I know there's already over 100 schools cited on the website which do reach out to national parameters.

"The private school element of this is a factor, in that certainly for us as the Metropolitan Police we have a safer schools officers and a safer schools network, we have identified ourselves that there isn't a safer schools network within the private schools."

Everyone's Invited has received more than 7,000 anonymous submissions (

She also spoke about the Everyone's Invited website and called the number of personal accounts "deeply concerning".

"We welcome any initiative which encourages any victim-survivor of a sexual offence to speak out and seek support.

"It is deeply concerning to see the number of accounts published on this website, many of which appear to relate to previous or current experiences within educational settings in London and across the country.

"We take all allegations of sexual assault very seriously. We understand the complex and varied reasons why many victim-survivors do not contact law enforcement, but I want to personally reassure anyone who needs our help that we are absolutely here for you."

DS Laremore also said that while she understands some of the incidents reported on the website "may have occurred some years ago," support is still available should any victim-survivor wish to speak to the police.

DS Laremore said the problem affects both state schools and private schools (

A link is now available on the Everyone's Invited website to directly report crimes to the police.

A source from the Department of Education (DfE) told The Guardian that schools would be "urgently investigated and face tough sanctions if they fail to address concerns".

Highgate School, a private school in north London, announced it is launching an independent review into the issues raised.

A statement on the school's website reads: "We are deeply shocked and horrified by the allegations that have recently come to light.

"The Highgate they describe runs entirely contrary to the values of our whole community and we echo what our Head, Adam Pettitt, has already said in apologising to any victim of sexual harassment or abuse who was not properly supported during their time at Highgate.

"We are truly sorry"

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Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News