#MeToo: LeicFess Facebook page inundated by rape stories at University of Leicester

Written by Toby Cray

TW: This article contains mention of rape.

A recent influx of people posting stories of sexual assault and rape, on Facebook page LeicFess, was sparked after a survivor of sexual assault spoke out on 30 January.

There have been 24 personal stories by survivors of sexual violence posted on the anonymous webpage, as of 8 February, with posts often voicing their anger at the university.

After being alerted to these stories, Karli Wagener, the Students’ Union’s (SU) Wellbeing Officer, said: “Please always remember that we hear you, believe you, and support you.”

Sexual violence at the university has previously been a focus of the SU’s campaign, with the student led #metoooncampus movement gaining national attention, after students came forward with their stories of sexual violence.

The anger at the university’s handling of sexual violence can be seen in certain posts, including one which states that: “the uni never got back to me” and “the uni is terrible at supporting us.”

A spokesman for the university responded to these posts by saying: “Every allegation is taken extremely seriously and investigated, and ongoing support will be provided to students or staff affected during and after an investigation if they have been subjected to such behaviour.”

Lyla*, who spoke out to us over sexual assault, said: “24 is a lot of stories though which makes me sad, but this means we can hold the uni accountable for their negligence when it comes to sexual assault.”

Mia, the President of the SU, stated: “we know that this is an issue, so I am not surprised by what’s been posted, especially as the changes we have made [to improve the reporting system] with the university are very recent.”

Karli added: “If students would like to speak to someone about their options or raise any concerns, they can contact Report and Support, or can visit the Students’ Union’s dedicated webpages for advice and guidance.

“We are actively working with the University to review their regulations, provide increased training, and we’ve recently created all-new signposting support materials – including our Sexual Violence Survivors Guide – to be used both online and on-campus.

“The #ErasetheGrey campaign has also been running digitally this week to raise awareness.”

*Name has been changed to protect identity.

This news article is part of an on-going investigation into sexual assault at the University of Leicester. If you have would like to share your story with us, please email galaxypress@leicester.ac.uk. Anonymity is offered.

Toby Cray is a second-year journalism student at the University of Leicester. You can find him on Instagram here: @toby5.c

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