Testimony 66

My rape was incredibly public, it happened at a party when I was blackout drunk, I only remember parts of the event and I broke down crying after and was throwing up in the bathroom. I thought that the boys were my friends and I can honestly say I truly loved and cared for them, looking back they were never very kind to me and I was desensitised to their behaviour because that was the environment that kegs was, even before the incident the boys would rate me on a daily basis depending on whether I was wearing makeup or if I was wearing trousers or a skirt, I used to just laugh and brush it off because like a lot of the girls I didn’t want to be labelled as boring or sensitive, I really just wanted to fit in. I believe that the reason why this type of behaviour was rampant at KEGS was because of the lack of consequences, it was like the boys were immune to any genuine punishment. One of the boys had been disruptive his entire time at KEGS, from year 7 until he eventually left mid year 13, he bullied people, destroyed property, disrespected teachers, skipped lessons and even was dealing drugs at one point – ALL WHICH THE SCHOOL WAS AWARE OF – and he was never once seriously reprimanded, the KEGS boys could get away with murder.

I was incredibly shaken up by the rape, I originally did not even believe I could have been raped, the boys were my best friends, they wouldn’t do that to me. I woke up after throwing up most of the night and passing out at a friends house, I proceeded to tell my friend that I got too drunk and that it was my fault, she corrected me immediately and told me that what happened was not ok. I later broke down to my mum and told her what had happened, I didn’t want to report it, I just wanted it all to go away but my Dad refused and called the police and reported it.

I refused to leave the school, I had worked so hard to go to the school for the opportunities and education and just wanted to get into uni and move on. My father went into school and spoke to the head teacher and the staff insisted that they would completely support me. It later was obvious to me that this was not the case. I couldn’t have counselling and when I eventually got it I was not allowed to talk about the rape because of legal reasons with the ongoing court case.

My first day back I tried to be as confident as possible, I did my hair and wore makeup which was apparently a bad idea because people thought I must be lying because God forbid a girl puts effort into her appearance after a traumatic event, I just refused to lose myself. I was pulled into the head of sixth forms office and told that I had to isolate myself and stay away from the boys as they couldn’t control them.

One of the boys would constantly come near me, pushing the boundaries but not enough that I could report it to the police and get a restraining order, he once threw cereal at me and talked about me loudly so I could hear, calling me a whore and a liar. Seeing their faces terrified me, I often had panic attacks and breakdowns at school and had to leave and every time I would seek help there was really not much done other than a reassuring conversation and a pat on the back before returning to my next lesson.

One of the most significant things that stood out to me was Charity Ball, I did not want my abusers to be there. The terms of being able to go to Charity ball were that you needed good attendance, good grades and good behaviour, one of the boys had none of these things and I almost sold my ticket out of fear of having an awful night filled with panic attacks and tears. He did not end up going but I do recall my friend’s night being ruined by her abusive ex -boyfriend despite him stalking her and destroying school property.

KEGS always talk about consequences, but let the boys get away with anything, they play favourites and give unlimited chances. You could verbally abuse someone and get away with it, but if you don’t hand in your homework you will get detention.

Years on I am now at university and doing well and I am so happy my Dad reported, I was given therapy with a charity called CARA that helped me immensely but I am genuinely traumatised. I have had relationships since the incident and I often have panic attacks and have a genuine fear of men who make unwanted advances. KEGS is responsible for educating the boys at their institution not just academically but socially too, KEGS is an unsafe place for the young women that attend and the way that these boys behave cannot be normalised, these young men will be those going on to high power positions – being from an elite grammar school – they need to learn right from wrong and suffer consequences for their actions.

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