The Everyone’s Invited website is focused on exposing rape culture through “conversation, education and support.”
Despite its recent founding two years ago, June 2020, this movement has gained enormous traction, illustrating the importance of a safe platform for survivors to share their stories completely anonymously. Indeed, the act of sharing their story with Everyone’s Invited is an attempt to give survivors a sense of catharsis, empowerment, and a feeling of community and hope.
We have started to tackle the ‘normalisation of sexual violence and abuse’ by getting students talking. Last month The Abbey and Reading Boys School recorded a podcast where they discussed what Everyone’s Invited meant to each of them, and how a greater understanding could evolve going forward.
Discussions continued between our Sixth and Fifth forms and last Friday we had our inaugural student discussions between the Reading Boys School and our students. We did a switch whereby half our Sixth Form visited Reading School and vice versa.
The groups were engaged, information was shared and the conversations were productive . Some of the content discussed included how we might respond to real issues faced by girls and women.
A comment from one of the boys illustrates the purposeful conversations; ‘The conversation then flowed naturally away from the prompts and discussing the unique issues that girls and women face in today’s society. We touched on a variety of these, from the gender pay gap to sexual violence against women, and the actions that we, as men, could take to prevent these from occurring. Overall, I think the experience was very enlightening and sobering for many of the Reading Boys involved, particularly the extent to which these problems affect the women around us everyday.’