Soma Sara, “Everyone’s Invited”: Reflections on Campaigning against Gender-based Violence

This event with Soma Sara will be to discuss her campaigning and activism work as well as the current climate around the promotion of education of sex and relationships in schools and for young people. The discussion will be related to sensitive themes of sexual violence and abuse, but we aim to direct the discourse towards future hopes and ideas of advocacy, support, sex-positivity, and positive cultural change. Many of the themes of discussion will relate to essays in Soma’s book though it is not necessary to read before the session.

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Speaker: Soma Sara (She/Her) is a multi-award-winning activist, author, speaker and CEO of the charity ‘Everyone’s Invited’. In June 2020, Soma began sharing her experiences of rape culture on Instagram. In light of the overwhelming response from those who resonated with her story, Soma founded Everyone’s Invited (EI). EI exploded onto the national stage back in March 2021, receiving over 50,000 testimonies and sparking a national movement and conversation about rape culture with millions of people. The publication of the testimonies and the Schools Lists triggered the groundbreaking 2021 Ofsted review, which demonstrated that sexual harassment and sexual abuse online are happening in all schools. It instructed all schools to take action, prompting a national overhaul in policies, practices, and RSE in schools across the U.K.

EI is a registered U.K. charity dedicated to exposing and eradicating rape culture with empathy, compassion and understanding. We provide a safe space for survivors to share their stories, giving them a sense of catharsis, empowerment and a feeling of community and hope. We educate young people to empower school communities to foster healthy relationships, sexual well-being and to tackle rape culture. We advocate for survivors, amplifying their voices to foster positive change and engaging with government, institutions and key stakeholders.

In September 2022, Soma published her first book under the same name, ‘Everyone’s Invited’, a collection of essays that grapple with the modern sexual landscape and the root causes of a culture that enables sexual harassment, abuse and violence to prevail.

This event is supported by Reuben College.