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The disturbing stories of sexual assault coming out of our country's wealthiest schools.

This post deals with sexual assault and might be triggering for some readers.

When former Sydney schoolgirl Chanel Contos offered up her Instagram inbox to anonymous testimonies, she could never have foreseen the avalanche of horrific stories that would fall into her lap. 

Not a handful, not a few hundred, but more than 4000 former and current Australian students have shared their experiences of sexual assault, rape and the chilling culture running rampant within our schools.

The now university student has started uploading the thousands of testimonies to a website, alongside a petition calling for consent to be taught earlier in our curriculums. 

WATCH: Sexual assault survivor and advocate Grace Tame named 2021 Australian of the Year. Post continues after video.


Video via ABC.

This is happening in public, private and religious schools in every state in this country, but many of the entries uploaded to the website so far involve Sydney private schools because of Chanel's initial line of questioning.

"If you live in Sydney: have you or has anyone close to you ever experienced sexual assault from someone who went to an all-boys school?" she asked. 

Here are just 20 of their stories, all from women who graduated between 2014 - 2020. Names of schools have been redacted.

"I said no. He then proceeded to yell at me."  

"I was 16 at a party and was kissing a [redacted] boy in the year above me. He asked me to give him oral sex and I said no. He then proceeded to yell at me and said 'then why the f**k are you getting with me then?' and pushed me down. After that experience I didn’t kiss anyone for a while, stupidly under the belief that if I was to hook up with a boy, but didn’t want to go further, ‘why was I getting with them?’ Schools need to teach their students that if a girl says 'no' the first time, they must respect that decision. Proceeding to ask another 30 times and receiving an unwilling yes due to peer pressure is NOT valid consent. That is a young woman too unsure of herself that was finally coerced into giving the answer they know you want to hear."

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"I couldn’t believe what was happening."

"I was in Year 10 when a [redacted] boy raped me. He was my 'friend' which gave me a false sense of security and still makes me question my understanding of the event. I was drunk when he told me he needed something from my room, so I went with him to get it. Before I could register he had pushed me onto the bed and pulled my pants down. I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t believe what was happening. He started having sex with me. The whole thing felt like it lasted forever and two minutes at the same time. He came, pulled out and left saying 'see you upstairs.' I didn’t say a word. I went back upstairs and was silent. He has never apologised or acknowledged it."

"I was found by the police."

"I was 16 years old and went out with a group of friends in Mosman to a party. I was new to drinking and hadn’t quite figured out the equation as to what my 'limit' was. I met a [redacted] boy on the street who I thought was cute, and we began to talk. I had a bottle of vodka with me and continued to drink. We walked past the party and he sat down with me at a park where we began to kiss. A few moments later all I remember was a group of his friends coming over and sitting with the two of us. They never introduced themselves to me directly, asking the boy 'who's this chick?' and making joking remarks of how 'f**ked I was'. At this point, I was completely out of it. All I remember was the boy I had initially met started to pull his pants down, as his friends cheered him on, and as he coaxed my head towards his crotch by pushing my head. I remember two of his other friends joined in. I resisted [but] my hands were held behind my back. Once they figured out I was 'too gross' and a 'f*cking mess' due to the profuse amount of vomit that started to come up, they moved me towards the back of the park. I was found by the police with my underwear by my ankles and completely unconscious. I was arrested for being 'drunk and disorderly'. I was never once asked about why I was found the way I was or why there was semen on my top. Or if I was okay? I’ve seen these boys since. The one I first met who initiated this introduced himself to me as 'Hi I'm...' and walked away after winking at me. I was punished for being the 'drunk messy girl' who ended up getting arrested because she couldn’t 'handle her limits'. I've never told anyone of that incident."

"I considered this boy a friend."

"I was in Year 11 and we were at a gathering; he was [redacted] in the same year as me and driving (on his Ps, so zero alcohol). I had a few drinks and was feeling tired so went to leave and get a taxi (the days before Uber), and he offered to drive me home because we were in the same direction. I considered this boy a friend and I had never given this guy any indication that I was ever keen in our entire friendship. So I thought he knew that and it was safe. He drove me to a reserve and invited me to come and 'look at the view'. He rolled onto me and kept my body trapped against the car as he made out with me and felt me up. I couldn’t push him off and asked him to take me home now and he said, 'in a minute'. It probably lasted under 10 minutes but I always preferred paying for a cab over going alone with a guy after that." 

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"I went home and cried all night long." 

"We were in Year 9. He was the first proper boy I had ever had a 'thing' with, so I didn’t know any different. He invited me over after school one day to watch a movie at his house. When I asked for the address, he told me to meet him at a park and then we would walk to his house together. When I met him there, he started leading me further and further away and into the bushes. We sat inside a cave. He started to kiss me and suddenly brought out his erect penis, which he then forcibly moved my hand to. I was so uncomfortable, thinking that I’d come here to watch a movie and because this boy really liked me. When he started pushing my head down to give him oral I suddenly stood up and said I needed to leave. We walked together in silence back to the main stretch of the park. I went home and cried all night long. I told my mum it was because I had a fight with a friend at school. The next day - I’ll never forget it - sitting in maths class I opened my phone to see a bunch of harassing messages from [redacted] boys. He’d told everyone at school - but not the truth. He bragged that we’d done it in a cave. It took me years to come to terms with it and because of it I’ve allowed other men to take advantage of me in similar ways."

"I had never done that before."

"We were at a party and I hardly knew him, had never kissed him, nor had any desire to. I was 14 years old and he was in Year 9. I was extremely drunk and needed to go to the bathroom so I asked him where it was (it was his house). He took me there, I said thanks and walked in and he tried to come in with me. I asked him to please leave and told him I was going in alone. I shut the door but a few seconds later he barged in again and locked the door behind him. He pulled his jeans down and pushed me down onto the floor, grabbed my head and forced me to give him oral. I had never done that before and never kissed him, he just shoved himself into my mouth and held my head there. I tried to move and get off him but he held my head with all his strength and I couldn’t. Eventually, I just sat there silent, tears in my eyes, confused. He kept going and then when he finished he pulled up his pants and left without saying a word. I sat on the bathroom floor alone for an hour crying until I organised a lift home and ran out of the house without saying goodbye to anyone. He told all his friends I wanted to do it and I haven’t spoken to any of them since. I still think about it all the time and every time I see him out I feel sick. From what I've heard, he’s done similar things to other girls, even having sex with them whilst unconscious. I later moved to a co-ed school and whilst there are still issues with the ways boys talk and think about girls to some extent, not a single boy from the co-ed school I graduated from had committed any forms of sexual assault and I trust that entirely. They seem to know right from wrong in that sense, and I think [they] grow up having more respect for girls than the average boy because they spend every day with them and realise that there’s more to girls than their bodies and their appearance."

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"I didn’t want to have sex."

"He offered to split an Uber home with me after a party. I was intoxicated and just wanted to get home. As we arrived at his, he told me to get out of the car. I told him I just wanted to go home. He said I should just stay a bit and he would call me an Uber later. I didn’t want to have sex. I felt it was my fault for giving him the wrong impression by getting an Uber with him so felt I had too. I told him I didn’t want to and that I was on my period. He continued to take my clothes off and proceeded to have sex with me. I cried during it. Once he finished he asked me to get in my Uber home and drop him at a train station on the way so he could go back to the party. I have never felt so used, I was disgusted with myself that I let it happen. I for months after felt like it was my own silly mistake for giving him the wrong impression for just sharing an Uber with him."

"I was in a lot of pain." 

"I was 14 years old and had only ever kissed a boy once. He was 15 and went to [redacted]. Me and some of my friends went to a park at night to hang out with some of the year above. One of the guys took me off away from everyone and we started getting with each other. He tried to finger me but I didn’t want him to, so I made up that I was on my period. So we went back to the group. I then overheard him tell his friend what I’d said, the friend then goes 'oh don’t worry they always just say that'. The guy took me off again into the bushes where he got on top of me and forced oral sex. He then continued to finger me and tried to initiate sex. I felt scared and finally built up the courage to ask him if I could put my pants back on. I then walked home back to my friend's house in a lot of pain, and saw that my undies were covered in blood. I was young and inexperienced so hadn’t started shaving down there yet. He then told all of his friends that I hadn’t shaved and the rumour spread around. I never realised that it was rape until I was 16 and our school went to another school to hear a police officer talk about sexual consent. It took me almost two years after that to let a guy touch me sexually."

"I was so mortified."

"It was back in year 10. I was invited up to Sydney for a weekend to go to a [redacted] boy's party. I got black out drunk and woke up the next morning to find out that photos had been taken of me while passed out of one of the boys fingering me. I was so mortified and felt beyond sick in my stomach about the whole situation, and just tried to forget about it. There was only one boy there out of the whole group who actually pulled the others up on the fact that what they did was f**ked up and made them delete the picture."

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"He raped me at a party."

"A [redacted] boy who I considered a friend, had sat in the same auditorium as me, through the same consent education day our schools held together. Three months later he raped me at a party. It’s not just about consent education but entitlement."

"I found out I was pregnant with his child." 

"I was in Year 8 when a [redacted] boy who I was seeing at the time pressured me into having sex and refused to wear a condom. He ghosted me after and when I found out I was pregnant with his child, I told him and he told me I was lying and must’ve cheated on him with someone else. He told everyone and the guys in his year messaged and called me, abusing me for what happened. I felt guilty back then but can see now that he and his friends were the issue. He held me down and raped me. When I said stop he kept going and even went faster when he knew I was getting uncomfortable. To this day I think about this incident a fair bit. All I know is that this was one of many issues my friends and I dealt with."

"I was so ashamed and embarrassed."

"When I was 15, I was talking to this boy from [redacted] in my year and he invited me over to his house. I went with a friend and he invited a friend of his. Everything was fine until he invited me to come for a tour of the house. As soon as I went into a room away from my friend, he shut the door behind me and told me to give him head. I said no and tried to leave the room. He grabbed my shoulders and said ‘why did I come over then?’ He kept pressuring me and putting himself between me and the door. When I kept saying no and asking to go back to the others, he placed one hand on my shoulder and another on my head, pushing me onto my knees and told me to ‘just do it for a second’ and then I could go. When it was over I walked out of the room and told my friend I wanted to leave. He messaged me for weeks after and I ignored him. I was so ashamed and embarrassed about what had happened. I don’t think he even understood that what had happened was assault. I never told anyone about it and to this day have issues with oral sex. The biggest issue about it all was the lack of understanding from my friends. The idea that it was assault was never even a consideration within my friend group, so it took me years to realise that what happened was not okay. I believe education around consent would’ve changed the way I emotionally coped with what had happened."

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"I didn’t feel comfortable anymore."

"We were both 18 at schoolies, he was a [redacted] boy. One night he kept mouthing to me 'I want to f**k you' and eventually got me into a corner and made out with me, at first I was okay with it. It wasn’t until later when he was locked out of his room and had to sleep in my bed that night, [and] I was tired and wanted to go to sleep. He came onto me and at this point I didn’t feel comfortable anymore but didn’t know how to tell him no. He kept pressuring me to have sex even after telling him I was unsure (especially as I was still a virgin at this point). He kept pressuring and I eventually gave in. He told me we could stop at any point, whilst I still felt uncomfortable throughout the whole experience I had asked him a few times if we could possibly stop, he would say okay but kept going until eventually he told me to go down on him to swallow his semen. For a while I didn’t think there was anything wrong with what happened as I never strongly said no to him, however after awhile I realised that me being uncomfortable the whole time and asking him to stop was consent in itself."

"I ignored the constant feeling of shame and trauma."

"I was out clubbing with my friends one night and we met up with some friends from [redacted]. There was one guy I haven’t met before in that group but we hit it off. After a few hours we all decided to kick on at his house. In the Uber there, he and I were in the far back seats of the car and he started feeling over my underwear, which I was okay with and I went along with it. I don’t drink ever and prefer not too, but he bought me a couple shots of Fireball at the club which I was hesitant to drink at first but he kept encouraging me and making me feel bad since 'he spent his money on them for me'. So I was pretty out of it on two shots of strong alcohol and I’m extremely lightweight so my head was spinning in the Uber and I easily could’ve passed out if I closed my eyes. By the time we got to his house I was stumbling everywhere and I was conscious enough to talk clearly but not enough to hold myself up physically. Later that night, he told me I was sleeping in his bed and our friends were taking the other room so I just went along with it. We started hooking up and having consensual sex. All of the sudden he started penetrating me in my anus, something I had never done before nor did I want too. I was too weak to physically stop him and it hurt so much I started crying but he didn’t see, and took the sounds as a sign to keep going. After a while he finished and asked if I had done that before and I said no, to which he replied 'well, now you can say you have.' I was shaken and my head was pounding, and eventually we fell asleep. After that, when I explained what happened to my friends, I kept making excuses for him by saying that 'he’s bisexual, anal is just normal for him so it’s whatever.' I ignored the constant feeling of shame and trauma for weeks. Instead I laughed it off and hoped the feeling would go away. It never has."

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"I felt powerless."

"I was 15 and he went to [redacted] in my year. He took me into a room and I was heavily intoxicated. I was so sick I couldn’t sit up and I was lying down while he put his penis in my mouth. I was in and out of consciousness and the next morning I couldn’t remember what had happened. I woke up the next day to my friends telling me he had had sex with me. I had never had sex before. What shocks me the most is that I had no idea what to do or who to tell and felt that if I was to tell an adult, I would be acting over dramatic. I was so confused about what happened and felt very powerless. Not only do we need to educate men about the proper protocol around sex and just in general how to treat women, but we need to empower young girls to stand up for themselves."

"One of them tried to apologise to the girls he’d assaulted."

"I went to [redacted] and I once spent an entire week trying to explain consent to a group of 10 boys I had a few classes with. At the end of the week many of them were still dumbfounded and confused by the topic. Several of them also privately admitted to me at the end of the week that after my talks to them they thought they might’ve raped and/or sexually assaulted girls. I told them that if they were questioning it, they probably did. Saddest thing is that they would either make jokes about it, or try and then go back on what they’d said, saying that I’d misunderstood and they definitely didn’t rape any girls. One of them who had admitted to raping a girl and then later denied it, actually had the audacity to ask me to get him a formal date months later. I hope now they’ve started to understand. I know one of them tried to apologise to the girls he’d assaulted. But I don’t know if that’s even remotely helped those girls. I have a younger brother to whom I’ve spent years [talking] about consent, so at least I can hopefully guarantee one future private school boy won’t assault any girls."

"I said please stop." 

"He went to [redacted], and I was drunk at a party, as many of these stories begin. My eyes were on the bathroom in front of me when I felt him grab my hips from below. Heaving me into his lap I couldn’t decipher whether I trusted this boy. He gripped me close to his face, breathing into my mouth. I tried to pull away. I said stop. I said please stop. He said you’re beautiful and kept touching me. There were many people around, so many people but no one stopped [him]. A boy I liked walked past and made eye contact with me. Instead of coming to my rescue he sighed and glanced away. Slut. It wasn’t until a concerned friend came over and asked if I was okay that the [redacted] boy let me free. I cried and cried, but I couldn’t understand why I was so affected. He didn’t assault me, they told me. He didn’t know you didn’t like it, they told me. Many of my closest friends from high school are still friends with this boy to this day. For a few years after the incident I told myself I was overreacting and should be friends with this boy. Today I am disgusted to my core and continue to think back to that night."

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"I was so scared."

"I was 16, and at a party with some [redacted] boys that I knew in the year above. We were friends, and I trusted them. I was very drunk and crying about something personal to one of them. As I was crying to him, he started touching my leg, and then put his hand somewhere else. I froze and didn’t say anything, I just cried. We were sitting at a table so no one else could see what he was doing. He just stared straight on and continued touching me. My friend came and sat next to me and he continued, I was so scared. I haven’t told anyone to this day because I feel like I’m being dramatic but it has affected me so much. I have seen him since and he still pretends to be the ‘nice guy’."

"I told him I didn’t want to have sex."

"It was last year in 2020, I was really drunk. I sometimes still blame myself for it in that regard. He had been my boyfriend for 11 months. He went to [redacted]. I told him I didn’t want to have sex and we hadn’t had sex (penetration), but had done everything else for a while now. I was a virgin, he knew how important it was for me as we had spoken about it at length. He proceeded to do it in the shower and I woke lying on the shower floor realising what had happened. I stayed with him for two months trying to fix it but I felt so broken (sometimes still do). He then broke up with me and proceeded to say 'I know I didn’t rape you, because I did a sexual consent course at university and what I did was not rape' the morning after it happened. I often have thought at length about reporting it. But it won’t do anything. If we can change the culture, that’s a step in the right direction."

***

The stories go on, and on and on. You can read them all here. In coming days and weeks, Chanel plans to keep uploading these stories - which include allegations against teenage boys in South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland, the ACT and wider NSW.

They paint a bleak picture of lack of awareness, education, inequality, sexism and misogyny from a generation of teenage boys who we hoped would know better than those who came before them. 

Read More:

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

Feature image: Getty.