XOYO sexual assault victim speaks out, claiming staff told her afterwards she was ‘dressed provocatively’


XOYO. - Credit: Archant

The victim of a sexual assault at a Shoreditch nightclub claims staff told her she was “dressed provocatively” and shouldn’t have been alone.

She told the Gazette three men touched her and tried to put their hands down her underwear after she confronted them for harassing another woman at XOYO in Cowper Street last month.

But when she broke free and told staff, she says, they didn’t call police – and instead tried to blame her.

XOYO’s parent company the Columbo Group has repeatedly failed to answer this newspaper’s requests for comment on either the incident itself or how staff there are trained.

The victim said: “Where some of the staff were helpful and tried to calm me down, there were others who told me to stop causing a scene – they told me to leave and be quiet.

“There was also something said to the effect of ‘these things happen – boys will be boys’ and they said I was dressed provocatively and that I shouldn’t have been alone.”

There is limited CCTV but the victim believes the attack could have been stopped if security had been more attentive.

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“I was flailing and resisting and there would have definitely been a commotion,” she said, “so if there had been a security guard on that floor who was paying attention I truly believe it would have been noticed and stopped.”

The victim now thinks the Columbo Group should review how it trains staff and consider installing more cameras.

She said: ”I’m a pretty stoic individual so I’m just doing what needs to be done and putting pressure on the club to review its training because obviously the staff response was less than adequate.”

In an email sent to the victim and her boyfriend, a spokeswoman for the group said: “We’ll be conducting an internal investigation to find out who the staff members were as well as the men involved.” The spokeswoman also said she would keep the pair updated on the investigation.

A Met spokeman said: “A female reported being the victim of a sexual assault by a group of unknown male suspects at a nightclub in Cowper Street. The victim decided against making a formal statement to police and the matter has been closed.”