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Woman says sexual violence is ‘rife’ on campus after being raped on her first night of uni

Aimee Lynskey hopes sharing her ordeal will show others they’re not alone (Picture: Liverpool Echo/Getty)

A woman who was raped on her first night at university says her sadness has turned to anger at learning that sexual violence is ‘rife’ among students.

Aimee Lynskey was assaulted after a welcome party at her student halls, where she had been celebrating starting a ‘whole new life’ at the age of 18.

She ended up in her room with a man who asked if she wanted anything to happen, to which she responded by ‘explicitly saying no’ – yet he forced himself on her anyway and left without a word.

Aimee remained silent for months, unable to process what had happened to her while living in the same room, and experienced depression and anxiety.

Britney Spears loves sister Jamie Lynn ‘unconditionally’ despite feud, and other top stories from January 16, 2022. After coming to the ‘awful’ realisation she had been raped, she connected with numerous other victims who described similar experiences all around campus.

Now aged 20, she is choosing to reveal her ordeal more than a year later to help the ‘many other people going through a similar thing’.

Bravely waiving her legal right to anonymity, she told the Liverpool Echo: ‘I didn’t really say anything to anybody about it until a couple of months after because I didn’t really know what had happened.

‘It was my first night and I was like, “Is this what everybody does?”‘

Aimee was able to come to terms with the experience after discussing with friends and her new boyfriend months later, and used counselling services, but decided against reporting it to police.

She explained: ‘I just didn’t really feel like I wanted to, because there would be that extra level of, “Okay, I’ve got to do this”, and it might have taken years to go anywhere.

Student victims often face the prospect of crossing paths with their attacker (Picture: PA)

‘I kind of want to work on myself rather than fix the whole situation.’

The history and criminology student learned that other victims also choose not to tell police as they fear they lack evidence.

Those who do must often continue to co-exist with their attacker in the same small world of university campus, with the dreadful prospect of crossing paths.

Aimee added: ‘There was a sexual assault awareness week last November at the university.

‘I went around and spoke to people, and there were so many other people who shared similar experiences, not only in halls, but on campus as well. It was shocking.’

‘Before, I’d get a bit upset, whereas now when I talk about it, I get more angry about the fact it happens, not only to myself, but other people.

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