When Sydney's Chanel Contos asked via Instagram whether her followers had ever been sexually assaulted by someone who attended an all-boys' school, few could have predicted such an overwhelming response.

Ms Contos used her rapidly growing platform to launch a petition to urgently call for sexual consent education to be introduced at all schools in the country, from a young age. So far, more than 27,000 people have signed it.

In the two weeks since asking her initial question more than 4000 people have publicly shared their heartbreaking experiences of alleged rape and sexual assault, including current and former school girls from Queensland.

These are there stories, in their own words.

My brother's friend (Churchie) was staying the night at our house while his parents were away. My brother had retired early, fatigued from hours of Saturday sport and my parents were out. He started grinding on me, tried to remove my shorts and putting my in highly-sexualised positions like it was a normal thing to do. My parents' arrival sent him racing to his room but my 12-year-old self didn't realise until now what he had done to me and that I had no idea what consent was. - Moreton Bay College

I was raped in Year 9 at a high school party by a Year 10 boy from Nudgee. Immediately after the assault I told a friend at the time what had happened and she slut shamed me and told me I was 'too drunk' and asked 'what did you expect'. I pushed the horrible feelings down down down and they festered into a cocktail blend of bad mental and physical health. I am only in the last 2 years processing the trauma of this event. We were never taught about consent. We were never taught about rape. We were not taught about toxic masculinity. We were taught how to be housewives. - St Aidan's Anglican Girls School, Brisbane

As an All Hallows' girl, a group of boys from St Joseph's Gregory Terrace were like older brothers to me. We hung out every other weekend, we showed each other new music, leant on one another in hard times. Sometimes friends would hook up, consensually but nothing serious. A year or two after school ended I crashed at one of these guys' house after a night out, and passed out in the spare bed. I woke up to one of my dearest friends kissing and undressing me. I froze. I didn't know what to do. This was my friend? He had sex with me, I didn't know it was rape. I tried to tell a friend and she said that I probably led him on. - All Hallows School

I was raped at a party when I was 15-years-old by a boy that went to Terrace. Everyone at that party including my 'friends' at the time let me get drunkenly led into that room and no one did anything to intervene and I didn't understand that I was raped until a long time later. To this day I still hold guilt and anger. This needs to be taught to EVERY SINGLE PERSON over the age of 12 - Stuartholme

I went to a co-ed school and unfortunately there are still a lot of sexual assault stories I've heard over the years. When I was about 14 I went to a social dance at Nudgee boys school in Brisbane and all I remember was me and my friends having our asses slapped constantly as we walked around the dance. I also somehow got caught up with a guy at the dance (a stranger) who grabbed me from behind and held me back while groping me in many areas. I couldn't get out of his grip until someone I know grabbed my hand and yanked me out. A lot of this behaviour was seen as completely normal and nobody questioned it. I can't help but think that if this kinda stuff was happening in front of hundreds of people, what was happening in private? - Hillbrook Anglican School, Brisbane

Went to a party in Year 11. Had my head forced down to give a guy head. Then later that night experienced an anxiety attack/ episode, which I didn't know that was what it was at the time, (sweating but was freezing, lost vision, felt like I couldn't breathe). Was a boy from St Joseph's (Gregory Terrace) in Spring Hill. He was a year or two above my grade. - Brisbane

 

Former Kambala student Chanel Contos who started an anonymous online petition to improve sex and consent education in schools across Australia. Picture Supplied
Former Kambala student Chanel Contos who started an anonymous online petition to improve sex and consent education in schools across Australia. Picture Supplied

 

I find Brisbane private schools much the same. I grew up pretty sheltered from the possibilities of sexual advances having been taught that sex is someone that people wait until marriage for. Multiple occasions with various students from St Laurence's and St Joseph's Gregory Terrace, I learnt the hard way about consent. When I was 17, it was my graduation party and I remember having one or two drinks just like everyone else. I was grabbed and pinned down but someone who I didn't recognise in the dark. I was raped and left in the dark, bleeding between my legs as I was robbed of my virginity. It was painful and I didn't tell anyone because I was ashamed. I remember stuffing my pants with tissue and going home and crying myself to sleep. The next day, I picked myself up and pretended it never happened. I'm now 27, married and a mother. I have a husband who is aware of what happened to me and has been my biggest support. I've spent 11 years regretting not speaking out and it has mentally affected me this entire time. I believe education is so important for young men because I never deserved to be in those situations. I was robbed of a choice and I'll never get that back. - All Hallows' School

From when I was 13 onwards, boys at Toowoomba Grammar asked me for nude photos, they thought that because we were women, and because they had never been taught otherwise, that it was okay to sexualise us and ask for nude photographs of ourselves. Because of the presence of the snapchat culture and the fact that it would 'disappear' it too was apparently okay. Several times during Year 8 and 9 photos circulated around the boys school of girls who had been subject to their manipulation, including an event where a photo of one girl was airdropped around the school bus for all boys to see. They are all enclosed in a small bubble of privilege that results in this sort of atrocious manipulation of young women for their own enjoyment. It must be stopped. - 2021 - Still at school

We used to get drunk / party with the boys from our brother school and often we'd stay the night at whatever house we were at. I'd always go to bed early from being too drunk or just tired and every single time, I'd have at least one of the guys (sometimes more) lay down next to me and feel me up and try to initiate sex, without even checking if I was awake let alone with it. I'd have to continually / forcefully move their hands off me, over and over, as they'd keep trying. These were guys I'd had no romantic interactions with prior, I was just a body in a room to them. Sometimes I'd just give in and "put out" as it was easier than fighting and then I could go back to sleep. I knew at the time it was messed up but the older I get the more I think of it. - Brisbane

I was raped after withdrawing consent (before penetration) by a Terrace Boy in 2008, also sexually assaulted by another Terrace boy. - All Hallows' School

In Year 9, I was sexually assaulted at a St Aidan's school dance by a student from Brisbane Boys College. While dancing with another student, the student who assaulted me came up behind me, digitally raped me while his friends (all from BBC) made a circle around us. Laughing and joking. Years later, I found out that this had happened on multiple occasions to different girls by the same group of students from BBC. These "boys" have never showed any remorse for their actions. - St Aidan's AGS

I had a fling with a guy from Boys Grammar last year when I was visiting Brisbane. This year visiting Brisbane, I wasn't keen on hooking up with him and had made that pretty clear. One night at a party he got extremely drunk and asked to go for a walk with him. He insisted. Obviously when we got to my car he forced himself on me and was extremely aggressive. I managed to push him off and said "I do not want this, I'm going home now." He forced himself on me again and I just thought I was going to get raped. I mustered the courage to push him off me and told him to get the fuck out of my car. He was laughing when he got out. I was crying. - Queensland Academy of Science Maths and Technology 2010

In 2005 I was 14, that pivotal age where you are trying to figure out who you are as well trying to keep with the social pressures of high school. I had met a guy one night at a party however I had not even been educated on what consent was or anything like the way it worked at school was if a guy liked you he'd want to have sex with you. He was 17 turning 18 and we had chatted all night and started to make out and next thing I know he was taking my virginity- not one word was uttered was I ok is this alright nothing. After he was done he went thanks love and that was that. Never spoken to again. This happened at an elite private school in Brisbane - Queensland

I was raped by a boy from St Laurence's School in Highgate Hill Brisbane. The "Lauries" boys I know represent the toxic masculinity that needs to be curbed as soon as they hit impressionable age. - All Hallows School

I was dating a boy who was a couple years older than me, I was around 14-15. We had never spoken about having sex and it never came across my mind because I was so young and didn't understand the concept completely. One day he asked if I could come over to his house because he had all his family over for lunch so I could meet them. When I rocked up it was just him and he took me into the room and locked the door behind him. He proceeded to start having sex and I didn't say anything because he was twice my size and I just thought this is what I have to do as a girlfriend. I continued to date him for many more months and assumed this was normal. I was never taught what consent was. - Private school in Brisbane

About a year after finishing school, I was at a party and ran into an old friend - an ex BBC boy that I knew from school events. I was a bit drunk and at the end of the night he offered to drive me home. When we left the party he started driving to his house (without checking it was ok). I told him didn't want to sleep with him and he seemed fine with that and said I could sleep on his sofa. At his house there was no sofa for me to sleep on. He completely forced himself on me. He was so rough with me - I was choked and bruised, he called me a "dirty little slut". I was crying and asked him to stop, but he didn't. After he finished, he wouldn't let me leave his room to use the bathroom because his parents were home. I had to wait until morning when he drove me home. He continued to text me for months after, wanting to "hang out" again. I honestly think he had no idea that what he did was rape. I later found out that I was not the first girl from my school that he had done this to. - St Aidan's - Brisbane

I was in year 10, a BBC boy I wanted to like me invited me over to his friend's house one weekend. There was around 5 of them at the house. We all went into a bedroom and all at once they left the room, leaving the boy I liked and me in the room. Once the door was closed the boy got on top of me and started trying to penetrate me. I remember being so shocked I froze and couldn't speak. It took almost 15 minutes for him to be able to break inside of me and I cried the entire time. After he was finished I noticed the bed sheets were covered in my blood. He told me this was 'normal'. For years I have had guilt over letting this happen and couldn't understand why I couldn't push him off or yell. I think I just wanted him to like me so much I was just so scared and simply didn't know how to tell him no. - Brisbane Girls Grammar School

In Year 12 after the Anglican Church grammar school formal I was drugged and encouraged to lose my virginity to another Churchie boy, to which I woke up on a blow up mattress in his TV room covered in blood. I grabbed my things and called my sister right away to pick me up at 5am in the morning. To this day I struggle to be intimate with anyone. - All Hallows' School

*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. 

Originally published as Brisbane school girls reveal harrowing details of sexual assault


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