Everyone's Invited: Edinburgh University is among universities with most mentions on website exposing 'rape culture' allegations
The University of Edinburgh is among the leading institutions with the most mentions on a website for students to anonymously share experience of rape, sexual harassment, abuse, assault and misogyny.
More than 80 universities have been named on the Everyone’s Invited website which began to highlight allegations of a “rape culture” at schools.
Edinburgh has had the third highest number of mentions with 53, and is the only university in Scotland to be referenced more than five times.
Of the 17 universities in the UK with the most mentions, 15 are Russell Group.
A spokesman for University of Edinburgh said all complaints were taken seriously and encouraged students to use official reporting channels so incidents could be investigated.
In just one week – between March 26 and April 2 – the website received more than 1,000 new testimonies from universities, the campaigners say.
Soma Sara, founder of the Everyone’s Invited website, said: “As Everyone’s Invited has emphasised from the outset, rape culture is everywhere including in all universities.”
The University of Exeter was mentioned 65 times, while the University of Oxford was mentioned 57 times.
Edinburgh and Leeds universities were also both mentioned 53 times.
A number of prestigious London universities also featured in the list, including University College London (48 mentions), King’s College London (28 mentions) and London School of Economics (26 mentions).
When asked why more prestigious universities had more mentions, Ms Sara said: “There are logical reasons for this bias. The platform is still new, and it has grown through word of mouth, with friends sharing it with friends.
“I went to a private school and then a university in London. As a result, we received an abundance of testimonies from certain areas and groups.”
A Russell Group spokesman said universities took the issue “incredibly seriously”.
“No student should feel unsafe or have to tolerate harassment or sexual misconduct in any circumstance.
“Where a crime has been committed it should be reported to the police. The testimonies highlighted via the Everyone’s Invited website show the need for us all to take this issue seriously.
“Our members are working with Universities UK to address this issue at a sector-wide level and will continue to do so to ensure campuses are places of safety and respect for others at all times.”
A University of Edinburgh spokesman said: “We recognise that sexual violence is a problem in society and the University has a duty to help address the problem.
“We are committed to addressing the issue of sexual violence on campus and have invested significantly in awareness raising, delivering training for students and staff and ensuring there is effective professional support available for any student who needs it.
“We take all complaints about any students or staff members seriously, and deal with any incidents that are brought to our attention in a sensitive manner.
“We encourage students to use our official reporting channels so that we are then able to fully investigate any incidents and provide those affected with the help and support they need.”
Police Scotland, which recently launched its ‘Get Consent’ campaign has urged people to come forward.