Why boys targeted girl in ‘harrowing’ attack
A former high school student from the Gold Coast claims she was scoped out and sexually assaulted by two boys from a respected private school in one night because she was "poor".
In a horrendous description of the alleged attack and the aftermath, she told news.com.au that a girl from the same school sought to protect the alleged attackers by threatening her.
The victim, who has asked not to be named, said she was invited to a party in 2007 where the birthday girl's parents had supplied "copious amounts of alcohol" to the large group of teenagers.
She told news.com.au that she was followed around by a male student from the All Saints Anglican School - a private, coeducational school in the Gold Coast hinterland - who, she claims, spent all night harassing her because she had rejected him.
"I then drank too much and went for a nap in a bedroom in the house," she told news.com.au.
"I woke up to the boy who had been harassing me all night and another boy lying on each side of me in the bed."
She said the two males were digitally penetrating her.
"My underwear was gone. I started yelling and a couple of people ran in. The boys told them I had vomited and they were trying to help me. This was of course a lie and there was no vomit."
The next morning she said she received a threatening phone call from the birthday girl - whose parents have well-paid jobs on the Gold Coast.
"She threatened me that I had better keep quiet or her parents would come after me," the victim said.
"I learned afterwards that the school was so cliquey that it was very common for the girls to protect the boys when they assaulted 'outsiders', particularly girls from less prestigious schools.
"I also learned afterwards that the two boys had planned the assault for hours beforehand, and had first inquired with friends of mine as to what my father did for a living. They were only planning on assaulting me if I was 'poor', which I was."
Disturbingly, she said she called the police to report the alleged attack, but she "may as well forget about it".
"They asked me if I was drunk at the time. I said yes and the policeman I spoke to laughed and said I didn't have a chance," she said.
All Saints Anglican School Headmaster, Patrick Wallas said the allegations against the school's former students were "harrowing".
"We take this allegation extremely seriously and are obviously most concerned for the welfare of this young person which should be everyone's primary concern," he said.
"Now she has come forward I hope the police might get involved and investigate the matter further. We shall of course co-operate fully with any investigation that is launched.
"Meanwhile our hearts reach out to this young woman and to all victims of sexual assault. It is a blight in our society that must be confronted and stopped."
"We have for many years had various programmes in place, both within and beyond the curriculum, to encourage our boys and young men to treat women with the respect they are due."
The victim has come forward about her experience after a petition - calling for earlier and more holistic sexual education in Australian schools went viral last week - uncovering a sick culture of normalised sexual assault on a horrific scale across the country.
The petition has brought forward more than 3000 testimonies from victims so far.
A common theme running through the testimonies is that the girls were raped while unconscious or forced to perform oral sex while they were severely intoxicated.
Others said they were pressured to perform non consensual sexual acts, including threesomes, forced alcohol consumption, and waking up to being touched by someone inappropriately.
The movement was created by Chanel Contos, a former student at a prestigious Sydney girls school, after hearing countless stories of sexual assaults through her network of friends while she was growing up.
Many of the initial testimonies came from students and former students from Sydney's elite school, but now it is uncovering allegations from much further afield.
Ms Contos told news.com.au the hundreds of testimonies that have been posted online alongside her petition calling for earlier education about consent are just "scraping the surface" and that hundreds more will be revealed when her website launches.
She said they include allegations of sexual assaults from across Australia and even some from overseas.
Ms Contos - who is now living in London - told news.com.au that reading the hundreds of testimonies had taken a "heavy emotional toll" on her, but she wasn't entirely shocked by what she uncovered.
"This is just scraping the surface, I know there's more," she said. "These experiences stay with us, it doesn't go away and it's not fair that it's going to happen to thousands more girls."
She said the aim of the petition was to push for better education around sex and consent in high schools across Australia.
"This isn't just something that's happening in Sydney private schools, it's much bigger," Ms Contos said.
She said the school she attended, Kambala in Sydney's Rose Bay, provided her with "life-changing" education on consent for the first time in year 10.
"However, it happened too late and came with the tough realisation that among my friends, almost half of us had already been raped or sexually assaulted by boys from neighbouring schools," she said.
Ms Contos said she is in talks with MPs and has plans to launch a website very soon.
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Originally published as Why boys targeted girl in 'harrowing' attack