UK sets up sex assault hotline for pupils

·2-min read

The UK will set up a telephone hotline for school children to report allegations of sexual abuse committed by other pupils after the murder of Sarah Everard inspired many to come forward and share their experiences of assault.

The Department for Education is to launch the hotline in the coming days, sources told the DPA news agency on Monday, confirming a report by The Times newspaper.

It comes after thousands of testimonies were published on a website called Everyone's Invited, where children as young as 11-years-old shared experiences of sexual assault or harassment by other pupils.

Most of the reports have come from pupils and former pupils at privately-funded schools in the UK.

On Friday, London's Metropolitan Police said it had received "a number of reports" regarding "specific offences" but did not give further details.

It added it had made contact with the schools named on the website to offer specialist support for victims.

More than 8000 testimonies have been published on Everyone's Invited, posted anonymously on the site by its founder Soma Sara.

There was a reportedly a spike in submissions in the past weeks after Londoner Sarah Everard went missing in early March while walking home alone at night.

Her remains were found a week later in a woodland in Kent.

A serving Metropolitan Police officer has been arrested and charged with murder and kidnapping.

Her death has prompted a widespread discussion in the UK about misogyny, sexual assault and women's safety.

Sara set up the website in the summer of 2020 after discussing the issues she and her friends faced during their time at school with boys.

She told The Times that sexual abuse did not just "exist" when she was a teenager, but it was "rife".