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My revolt against student sexual assault

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When Hannah Price was sexually assaulted as a student, she felt unable to report it. She has since discovered she is far from alone - and that sexual assault may be far more common on campus than official figures suggest. I don't remember being taught about consent at school, other than "No means no." What I do remember is being told not to walk home on my own, or I'd risk being raped by a stranger in a dark alley. But when I was raped it was not in the street, but in my own student house, and I had taken the precaution of being walked home by someone I knew.It was the first social event of that academic year at the University of Bristol and it had been a fun night. It was everyone's favourite time of term - lectures had not properly begun and deadlines were still far from our minds. I drank, laughed and danced until I was ready for sleep. As I was leaving the club, a guy also at the social said he lived near me and offered to walk me home. Walking home alone, late at night, in the dark was something I actively tried to avoid, so I gladly accepted his offer. We'd only met a few weeks before, so conversation was light - we chatted about the night and what to expect in the new term.When we got to the steps that led up to my house, he politely asked if he could pop inside for a glass of water because he was feeling unwell. Maybe this is when I should have heard alarm bells, but even as I was pouring the drink in my kitchen nothing struck me as amiss. Not until after he'd finished the water, and the pretence was over.
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I never reported what happened to anyone in authority. Who would believe me if I did? I had been drinking. I let him into my house. I didn't physically try to fight him off - fear took over. Surely that meant it was my fault?What happened didn't fit any label that I recognised: he wasn't a stranger, there was no dark alley.I knew I would have to see him again. I was in a student bubble, studying and socialising with my peers - even at an institution as big as my university was, bumping into someone is inevitable. And because of his charismatic public persona and popularity it seemed easier, and less traumatic, to suppress what had happened, than face up to it.Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter
Sexual harassment
Sexual violence
Universities
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