A Victim Of Sexual Assault Writes A Touching Open Letter To Glastonbury
The Debrief: The festival organisers put in a safeguarding procedure so that she could still attend the event after being assaulted
Festival goer, Laura Whitehurst, has written an emotional open letter on her blog to the organisers of Glastonbury Festival. Whitehurst and her friends were able to get tickets for the festival for the first time. She and her friends created a bunch of Whatsapp groupchat’s were created, where they shared their outfits, made plans and beginning to countdown for the festival.
But in April, two months before the festival, Laura Whitehurst claims that she was sexually assaulted by two male friends who were part of the group she was planning to go to the festival with.
Laura attended a crisis centre the next day, but decided against reporting the attack to the police, after her friends told her not to, telling her not to ‘ruin Glastonbury for us all.’ Laura claims that she was threatened by some of her former friends, and that the harassment continued, even after she'd attempted to block them on social media.
Eventually, she reported the assault and the harassment to the police, who advised her to get in touch withGlastonbury to try and get a refund. Laura was devastated to miss the festival, but agreed it was the best thing to do while the investigation continued.
Laura was unable to find any contact details other than an enquiry form on the website. She wrote to them explaining what had happend and asked for a refund - but didn't expect a response.
However, she instantly received an email from a woman by the name of Marianna who told her she would be contacted by the Events Operation Lead – Adrian.
Adrian, also an ex-police officer, asked her to explain what happened. Laura explained and Adrian promised to do everything he could, so she could still attend the festival. Together, the police and Adrian set up a safeguarding procedure so she could still attend Glastonbury.
At the day of the event, Laura was given a letter from Adrian. The letter stated that, ‘the bearer of the letter must have her requests for her safety taken seriously and she must be taken to safety immediately.’ She was instructed to hand it to event staff if she felt unsafe at the festival. Laura was given VIP wristbands and was able to thoroughly enjoy the festival whilst feeling safe.
Laura ends her letter with a thank you to the organisers of the festival:
‘So, this letter is to say, thank you. God I wish there were a stronger sentiment. Not many people would be aware of the amazing work you did for me – you didn’t do it so you could write about it, or get a pay rise, or for glory, you did it because you really cared.’
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