Against sexual violence letter

Monday 29 March 2021 

Dear St Marylebone community,

I know I am not alone in feeling dismay in reading the many testimonies of young people from all over the country on the website Everyone’s Invited.  This site has gained a lot of attention in recent days.  It is a website which invites victims of sexual violence to tell their story.  

We address sexual violence and abuse in a number of ways. I felt it was important to share with you St Marylebone’s stance, how we address issues of sexual violence, how students can seek help and what students can do if they want to support this important cause.  This applies to students of all races, cultures, faiths, genders and socio-economic backgrounds.  

There is a lot of information below, but that’s because we do a lot and care a lot about the ways these issues affect our young people.

Best regards,

Ms Pugh

Sexual violence and abuse is not acceptable.  

St Marylebone School students and staff know that we need to stand up against this, listen and collaborate on ways to make things better.  We have seen the site Everyone’s Invited and recognise that we play a role in supporting young people in addressing, overcoming and preventing experiences of sexual violence and abuse. We have a culture which encourages open discussion, in which students know they can come forward and seek help, and speak up to support others, in ways which support and protect the individuals involved. At St Marylebone, we want everyone to feel safe, valued and heard.  This applies to students of all races, cultures, faiths, genders and socio-economic backgrounds.  

If you or someone you know is affected by sexual violence or abuse, you can seek help: 

– Speak to your Tutor, Head of Year, one of the mentors or any adult in school.  

– Report the incident to the police.

– Contact online or via the Rape Crisis helpline 0808 802 9999

Contact Southall Black Sisters online or via their helpline: 0208 571 9595

Contact Stonewall which is especially skilled in supporting the LGBT community: 0800 0502020

– Contact the Muslim Youth Helpline: 0808 808 2008
– Contact Angelou, a local service for people affected by domestic violence or the domestic abuse helpline 0808 2000 247

– For male victims of sexual abuse or domestic violence, contact online or via the helpline 01823 334244

– Do not broadcast the experience online and, if a friend shares something concerning, do not comment or gossip online about it. Speak with that person about seeking help. 

– Everyone deserves to feel heard and safe. This applies to all races, cultures, faiths, genders and socio-economic backgrounds.

If you want to learn more, support this cause and make things better, you could:

– Support organisations like Solace Women’s Aid and Ashiana Network  

– Encourage open, non-judgemental discussion in your peer groups about this, to help each other have the language and confidence to speak up. 

– Learn about how to help women feel safer by reading the Good Guys Guide

– Be a Positive Bystander: stand up and take appropriate action when it matters.

– Support White Ribbon UK which works with men and boys to help end domestic and sexual violence. 

– Listen and participate in debates and related topics in your lessons. 

– Support the work of the Everyman Project, which works with perpetrators of and victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

– Support the work of any of the organisations listed to the left here <<<. 

– Listen and participate in debates and related topics in your lessons.

There are a number of ways in which St Marylebone School addresses these important issues:

We listen.  We create appropriate forums in which students can discuss this, not only when it’s a high profile media story. 

– We have trained and experienced staff who have supported many individuals dealing with these issues. They are deeply personal experiences, so you might not know who or how or when this has happened. 

– All staff do Safeguarding and Child Protection training, every year.  Our pastoral staff do specialist training in dealing with sexual violence. 

– We follow all the advice and protocols set out in Keeping Children Safe In Education.

– We promote a vigilant and supportive culture, in which self-esteem, respect and being a positive bystander are championed. 

– We work with the organisations listed above and we signpost students to the support they offer, ensuring we attend to the needs of our diverse student cohort of all backgrounds, faiths, races and genders.

– We do Sex and Relationships Education (SRE), from Year 7 through Year 13, including consent, harassment, sex and media, healthy relationships. All SRE sessions include how to get help and signpost external organisations. You can read the overview of our PSHE provision here.

– We have sexual violence and domestic abuse assemblies and workshops led by specialists LAWRS (Latin American Women’s Rights Service). 

– We recruit Student Healthy Relationships Ambassadors – more to come! 

– We engage Student Voice in planning PSHE, including Sex and Relationships Education. 

– We are a Westminster Champion School for Healthy Relationships

– We provide support for individuals through the Pastoral Team, including our mentors, counsellor, Chaplain, the School Nursing Team, our trainee social workers, the Trailblazers Mental Health Practitioners and 6th Form Mental Health Ambassadors. 

– Where appropriate, external agencies are involved, such as the police.

– We work with the Met Police, Safer Schools Officers, the local Safeguarding Team and the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) proactively and in response to incidents. 

– Our weekly current affairs publication NewsTues and our student podcast channel SMSpeaks gives a platform for students to express and explore the issue.

– Our curriculum also addresses issues of sexual violence and abuse, in Religion, Ethics and Philosophy, English Literature, Psychology, Sociology, History.

 – We are never complacent and we always seek to improve our provision for young people.