Assault nightmare: Drugged, raped by elite school students
A brave sexual assault survivor has broken her silence on being traumatically raped by two private school boys, saying it would never have happened if consent had been taught in the classroom.
Stephanie was just 14 years old and a student when she was raped by two Anglican Church Grammar School boys at a house party in Brisbane's northern suburbs.
She is one of more than 30,000 people who have signed a petition calling on earlier and more comprehensive sexual consent education in schools, and believes it could have prevented her own rape in 2008.
"I had been at a party on a Saturday night, and it happened in the early hours of the Sunday morning," Stephanie said.
"There was alcohol, but I wasn't drinking, and there were drugs.
"I remember one of the boys offering me a soft drink, which I believe drugged me."
What happened next still gives the Brisbane wife and mother nightmares.
"I was unconscious on the floor when two boys thought it was acceptable to have sex with me and put foreign objects inside of me without any consent," Stephanie said.
"I was paralysed, but I could feel everything."
At her school on Monday, the teen broke down and told one of her teachers what had happened.
"She said to me 'I think you need to tell the police'.
"Reporting my assault was one of the hardest things I have done in my life but I was fortunate to have my parents who supported me.
"When I sat down with the first officer to tell my story the first question he asked me was was I a virgin before that night and I remember feeling so angry and I told him I didn't see the relevance of his question."
The boys were arrested a few days later, and two years of protracted legal proceedings followed.
She received death threats for reporting the boys, and her mental health deteriorated.
Stephanie even attempted to take her own life.
Distressingly, she says she was told the boys were "too young to know what consent meant".
"I thought it was all somehow my fault - but I now know that it wasn't," she said.
Ultimately though Stephanie was willing to go to trial, a plea deal was struck and the boys received probation for their crime.
Since the Teach Us Consent petition was launched by former Sydney schoolgirl Chanel Contos more than 3,000 young women, including dozens of current and former Queensland school girls, have anonymously shared their own allegations of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Stephanie urged politicians to introduce earlier and more holistic sexual education into schools, covering topics such as consent, rape culture, slut shaming, toxic masculinity and queer sex education.
She also wanted to see more support for sexual assault survivors, including increased funding for crucial services.
"There needs be more support for teenagers reporting sexual assault, and a lot more specialised counselling," she said.
"I'm highly concerned by how many of the girls telling their stories said they felt like they couldn't report their assault to police.
"I want girls to feel comfortable coming forward.
"I'm so angry that it is 13 years later, and this is still happening."
Stephanie urged the government to rethink its sex education program.
"I think there needs to be less talk about the physical aspect of sex - all I remember learning about was penis, vagina, wear a condom," she said.
"It was all about the biology, not about what sex actually means, how it should make you feel."
Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace this week declared a sweeping review into sexual consent and reporting education in light of the published allegations.
Ms Grace said she had instructed the Director General to work across the government and non-government as well as P&Cs and school communities whether the current Australian curriculum adequately addressed all issues.
She said she wanted to "thank and congratulate those brave young women" who had come forward to bring the issue into the spotlight.
"I urge any victim of sexual violence to make a report to police and to seek any advice."
Originally published as 'I was raped by Brisbane private school boys'