cw // stories of sexual assault
Another bit of press coverage from Thursday 20th May which was entirely unexpected is this one!
Hours after the BBC piece went live, I found myself being invited to appear on Times Radio’s Carole Walker show which was being hosted by Kait Borsay to talk more about my experience of reporting sexual assault and the letter urging universities to be more transparent and implement mandatory policies to deal with these cases.
The show runs from 10pm until 1am and I was on at 11:30pm, so you’ll be forgiven for perhaps not catching it live. If you’re not a night owl, don’t worry, there’s a recording below. One of the things I am becoming painfully aware of through these interviews is just how much I say ‘I just think…’ and ‘basically’ – my apols! In fairness to me, I did have a major anxiety attack moments before going on air, so it’s a miracle that I managed to say anything of substance.
Nerves aside, I was honoured to have been able to join the absolute powerhouses that are Ann Olivarius from transatlantic law firm McAllister Olivarius (major fangirling!) and Gemma McCall from Culture Shift, who I had previously spoken to for my Metro article.
It was such a pinch-me-moment to join these two incredible women; they’re THE ultimate experts and I would urge any university who has been following the story and all things Everyone’s Invited to listen to what they’re saying.
Funnily enough, after all the media interest and coverage, my attacker’s university finally reached out and offered to tell me the outcome of my complaint. Is it a result? Yes, but it’s not one that I ultimately believe or trust. After all, when the investigation ended last year, I was told I would NEVER be able to know the outcome because of my attacker’s right to privacy. It has become increasingly clear to me that they could have told me at the time what my complaint amounted to (not much), but opted to rather leave me in the dark with zero closure after being re-traumatised many times in the process.
Having had the underwhelming-but-not-surprising outcome revealed to me nearly two years on from the sexual assault itself and almost a year after the investigation wrapped doesn’t feel like justice. It feels an incentive to try and quell the media frenzy and ultimately get me to stop talking about what happened.
His university were aware of my Metro article at the end of last year and they never once got in contact to share the outcome with me. Only when it was picked up by the BBC and various other outlets (stay tuned!) did my experience suddenly matter to UWE.
If I didn’t continue speaking out about the sexual assault itself and the whole ordeal of reporting, then I likely never would’ve known what action – if any – was taken against the person who sexually assaulted me. It makes me think about the survivors who don’t speak out because many are afraid of the consequences or don’t want to make the big step in waiving their right to anonymity – I can tell you it’s not easy! – and my heart breaks at the fact that they may never get the justice or closure they deserve. Although, it really shouldn’t take putting yourself out there and recounting your trauma publicly to get that result.
Again, I just want to highlight the amazing work by the SSCSP’s founder, Sydney, and the brilliant open letter she has put together – read it, share it. Here’s to hopefully bringing about positive change!