Hundreds of girls from some of Australia’s top private schools have claimed they were sexually assaulted and raped by their male peers.
Dozens of harrowing claims have emerged due to a petition started to demand schools implement better sex consent education.
The petition, launched on Thursday by former Kambala student Chanel Contos, 22, has uncovered disturbing allegations against boys from prestigious private schools.
More than 1,500 former students have signed the petition or shared stories of their own alleged assaults.
Hundreds of girls who attended Sydney private schools has claimed they were sexually assaulted and raped by private school boys and are demanding schools implement better sex consent education. Pictured: Chanel Contos is calling for better sex education
Ms Contos said Kambala High School (pictured) gave her a ‘great consent education but they gave it too late’
Chantel Contos’ petition now has signatures from close to 7,000 former and current school students across Australia
Ms Contos told Daily Mail Australia she started the petition after her friend confided in her about a sexual assault case that happened when she was 14-years-old.
‘When I saw how distressed she was eight, nine years later, I knew that something had to be done,’ she said.
‘The realisation you’ve been sexually assaulted, it’s a hard thing to go through’.
Ms Contos said she was forced to give oral sex to a boy when she was in Year 8, but did not realise she had been raped or learn about consent until she attended a sex consent class in Year 10 that presented by an former police officer.
At least 1,500 former students have signed the petition or shared stories of their own alleged assaults, with some boys even saying they perpetrated assault as students. Pictured: Chantel Contos said she was forced to perform oral sex as her first sexual experience
Ms Contos’ petition now has 6,400 signatures and nearly 700 testimonies from woman aged between 13 to 50-years-old from across Australia
‘I was angry, but also had a sense of clarity around that I had in fact been sexually abused,’ she said.
But she wasn’t the only girl who realized they had just been sexually abused.
‘I walked out of that room together with my friends and I remember the girls saying “my guy could get seven years” or “mine could go to jail for 17 years”,’ she recalled.
Ms Contos said despite her school giving her a ‘great consent education, they gave it too late’.
‘A lot of people are already sexually active by 15 or 16, and you need to have this consent training before you become sexually active’, she said.
‘People who have contacted me have said they received no consent sexual education, especially boys schools said that it was minimal to none’.
Ms Contos’ petition now has 6,400 signatures and nearly 700 testimonies from woman aged between 13 to 50-years-old from across Australia.
Allegations outlined in testimonials on the petition including being drugged and raped, being assaulted while intoxicated, waking up to find boyfriends having sex with them and being forced to perform oral sex.
Ms Contos said two boys have left testimonies allegedly they have also experienced sexual assault, and around 15 have messaged to say they are questioning their past sexual experiences.
Some former private schoolboys even confessed anonymously to perpetrating sexual assault or harassment, saying they regretted their actions.
Ms Contos updates her followers online that over 300 testimonies had been sent into the petition in the last 24 hours alone
‘When I was younger I hooked up with a girl at a party when she was so drunk she couldn’t stand. Since then I have apologised to her and she has accepted,’ wrote one person who said they were a student at in 2015.
‘However I still think about the potential damage I did to her and wonder what longstanding damage I could’ve done to her as an adult.’
Testimonials on the petition have accused unnamed students from Sydney’s most exclusive all-boy schools, including Scots, Cranbrook, Sydney Grammar School, St Joseph’s, Waverley, St Ignatius Riverview, and Shore.
Women said they had attended all-girls schools including Kambala, Kincoppal-Rose Bay, St Catherine’s School, Pymble Ladies College, Wenona, Queenwood and Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College.
The petition called for schools to provide consent sex education to students ‘from a young age.’
Chantel Contos (pictured) is calling for schools to provide consent sexual education to students from a young age
Testimonials on the petition have accused unnamed students from Sydney’s most exclusive all-boy schools, including St Ignatius Riverview (pictured)
‘These are uncomfortable conversations to have with young teenagers,’ it reads.
‘[But] it is far more uncomfortable to live knowing that something happened to you, or a friend, or perhaps that you were even the perpetrator of it, and it could have been avoided.’
Schools told the Sydney Morning Herald they needed to be allowed to teach consent and sex education without being restrained by politics.
‘It is also essential that schools (both public and independent) are allowed to teach about such matters rather than have them being constrained by the personal but public opinions of politicians or criticised when wanting to educate around sexuality,’ said Wenona principal Dr Briony Scott.
St Catherine’s School headmistress Dr Julie Townsend said it was ‘heartbreaking’ to read the testimonials.
‘It is clear from these girls’ testimonies that many of them have suffered in silence for years, and we need to ensure that, not only do they understand what assault is, but know their rights in reporting it and charging someone,’ she said.
Principal of boys school Waverley College Graham Leddie said schools needed to be held to ‘a high standard.’
‘We need to raise our expectations of a generation of boys in Australia that have a reputation for being self-serving, entitled and craving instant gratification,’ he said.
Chanel Contos’ petition nearly has 7,000 signatures from men and women across Australia
Ms Contos (pictured) said she hopes the petition will bring change to sexuality education to students across Australia
Ms Contos said she’s thankful for the discussions and reflection the petition has opened across Australia and worldwide.
‘I hope the petition brings change to sexuality education, it needs to be more holistic, not by only incorporating consent, but also the forces that shape behaviors such as toxic masculinity and rape culture’, she said.
‘I hope this will better equip younger generations, so they never had the delayed realization that they’ve been victims or perpetrators of sexual assault’.
If this story has raised issues for you, please contact 1800 Respect 1800 737 732, Lifeline 13 11 14, beyondblue 1300 224 636, Domestic Violence Line 1800 65 64 63
This post was first published on DailyMail.