Someone locally contacted me the other day to draw my attention to the Everyone’s Invited campaign, which has set out to eradicate ‘rape culture’ in the UK (and globally). It is relevant to us all, and especially to those with children in schools and universities.
As the website says:
Rape culture is when attitudes, behaviours and beliefs in society have the effect of normalising and trivialising sexual violence. This culture includes misogyny, rape jokes, sexual harassment (groping, non-consensual touching), image based abuse (upskirting, non-consensual sharing of intimate photos, cyberflashing), and sexual coercion. When behaviours such as these are normalised this can act as a gateway to more extreme acts such as sexual assault and rape.
To be honest, it is not a new phenomenon. I went to a girls’ school and never encountered it there, but at university and in the wider world when I was younger certainly, groping, non-consensual touching, harassment, upskirting, flashing and worse were pretty common. These were the days when workplaces had calendars of topless women (page 3 variety) which were perceived as normal. Of course, back in those days we just assumed we had to put up with offensive beahaviour.
So, I welcome this movement, which works on sharing testimonies of survivors, which at the very least should make perpetrators think about how others feel/perceive.
Shockingly, 406 are primary schools.
ITV was given initial coverage, and here is their article with video discussion.