Almost every woman in the world has something in common with Aimee Gibbs from Sex Education, and that something is a story of an assault or sexual harassment.
Aimee Gibbs’ assault story is one of the most talked-about moments from the show, and it’s based on Sex Education writer Laurie Nunn’s personal experience.
Aimee gets on a bus to go to school, and she carries a birthday cake for Maeve’s birthday. She tries to keep herself in an upright position, but she becomes aware that a man is standing behind her. She’s confused about how close the man is, and at one point she yells “He’s wanking on me”. No one on the bus does anything, though, and she gets off the bus to walk. Maeve asks what happened to the cake when she Aimee finally gets to school, and she answers that it didn’t look so bad before, but she was on the bus and a guy wanked on her leg, so she was so shocked that she smushed the cake. Aimee then jokingly asks if Maeve thinks it will stain, because she loves those jeans.
Maeve tells Aimee to report the incident, but Aimee says that it’s not important and makes a joke about the cheapness of the jeans. Maeve says that Aimee was assaulted, but she responds by saying that she thought that the man “was just lonely”, and that “it’s not a big deal”.
It becomes clear, though, that Aimee is far from fine, and she sees the face of the man who assaulted her when she tries to get on the bus in the following weeks. So, she chooses to walk to school instead of taking the bus, and she doesn’t want her boyfriend to touch her. None of her friends or family know what happened, though, and how the assault affected her.
Watching Aimee suffer in the following weeks is very moving, and she’s trying to blink back tears and she does her utmost to carry on. Many women can identify with that feeling: trying to tell yourself that you’re fine, but you’re actually very far from fine.
Sex Education writer and creator Laurie Nunn spoke about an incident that happened to her in a conversation with Laura Bates from Everyday Sexism and cast members Aimée Lou Wood (Aimee) and Patricia Allison (Ola).
Nunn said in the video that the inspiration for Aimee’s storyline came from a personal experience that she had herself, and this thing happened to her about five years ago where she was on her local bus and she was on the way to King’s Cross station. She shared that it was early in the morning, and someone got on the bus and sat next to her, despite the bus being completely empty. She had her bags on the floor, and he put his feet on her bags so she couldn’t move. He then started getting himself closer to her, and he was then rubbing himself on her and touching himself.
Check out the conversation for yourself below: