COMMENT - STUDENTS have been given a voice to tell their stories of sexual violence in an age when it has effectively become normalised in the education sector – but is anyone listening?

Alongside University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes, a total of 45 of the county’s schools were named on Everyone’s Invited, where survivors are free to share their experiences anonymously.

While I did not graduate from a UK school, I went to university in London – and when I read through tens of thousands of testimonies on the website, the voice of the survivors sounded like the one of my friends, my classmates, my colleagues, and my own.

I have never met a woman who has not been catcalled by men on the street while wearing her school uniform, been upskirted, touched inappropriately on public transport or told to ‘cover up’ by teachers. These are the mild, everyday tales.

This is why I was surprised to find no school in Oxfordshire was taking direct action to eradicate it; they were all ‘shocked’ and ‘appalled’ and prepared to offer a statement about extensive policies on supporting students.

When I contacted one school about a student who said she was scared to walk in a skirt because male teachers looked under it, the response was ‘we believe this to be in relation to a request for the skirt uniform to be of a certain length as part of our dress code’.

At St Edward’s School in Oxford, a spokesperson asked why I was interested and what was the public interest in it.

We treat sex abuse as rare, with schools having no responsibility to tackle it. But if it is not done there and at home, then where?