Jimmy Savile – Are the victims to blame for this crisis?

On the one sided evidence reported to the public thus far, there’s no doubt whatsoever that Jimmy Savile was an evil, perverted sexual predator and paedophile.

At the time of writing the media have reported that their have been 60 specific allegations of sexual abuse. The Police are following 340 lines of enquiry.

Quite rightly many public bodies – the BBC, various hospitals such as Broadmoor Hospital, the Prison service and the Police have serious questions to face via the multiple inquiries being announced.

Notwithstanding all this, I do feel that some of the victims have to accept a degree of blame for the harrowing stories we’ve been hearing about over the past fortnight since the Jimmy Savile scandal broke in September 2012.

Firstly, more of them should and might have done more to speak out at the time or at a later point. To the BBC or the authorities at whatever institution they suffered abuse at. Most of the victims were not 5 or 6 year olds, but teenagers, so its difficult to believe that all of them were unable to speak out and try to prevent repeated abuse to themselves and/or other victims over the decades since 1959.

Even if those adults complained to didn’t believe them, there were and are always alternatives – parents, The Police, teachers, managers, older brothers and sisters, friends, partners etc….

Secondly, because most remained silent and are now coming out of the woodwork to stamp on the dead man’s grave, it’s simply too little, too much and too late. If these victims had shown some ‘cohonas’ this could and would have been nipped in the bud, years, even decades ago. It might even have helped Jimmy Savile deal with his sexual perversions.

Solutions

Moving forward, I wonder if there’s a greater need for those who work with children/welcome children onto their premises to recognise the signs of abuse and to know what to do when accusations are brought to them. Are adequate procedures in place and are they being followed?

Perhaps there is also a greater need to provide all children with guidance via, for instance, the school curriculum, on what action they can take if they or someone they know is being abused.

What this scandal has effectively exposed could well be deemed “institutionalised abuse”. That is truly shocking.

As a society we thought we’d progressed, but this scandal indicates we’ve not moved on as far as we’d hoped when it comes to tackling abuse.

Ban the BBC Campaign

A boycott of the BBC has been organised for 19-22 October 2012. Between 7pm on Friday 19th October 2012 – 11am Monday 22nd October 2012 people are encouraged to not watch BBC TV, radio or website.

The aim of this initial action, organised by Deeatthevillagerestorationproject (Facebook) is for the general public to demonstrate their anger and disapproval at the BBC’s failure to robustly deal with Jimmy Savile.

In the longer term, if found guilty of failure to prevent the alleged abuse, I would suggest Ofcom or the Court’s take the BBC off air for two weeks. No TV. No radio. No website. That punishment would punish them and send out a loud and clear message to other organisations in a position of trust and authority that they have to do much better in such circumstances.

Tiemo Talk of the Town
17th October 2012

Links

http://napac.org.uk/
http://www.nspcc.org.uk/

www.savethechildren.org.uk

www.familylives.org.uk
www.barnardos.org.uk
www.bacp.co.uk
www.psychotherapy.org.uk

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This entry was posted in Battle of Ideas 2012, Child abuse, Politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Jimmy Savile – Are the victims to blame for this crisis?

  1. Tiemo Talk says:

    PROFESSOR MARTIN H. TEICHER, world leading Neuroscientist in child mental health, presents ‘The Impact of Bullying and Parental Verbal Abuse on the Child’s Developing Brain’

    Wed 31 Oct 2012 evening lecture (6.30-9.30pm)

    SPECIAL DISCOUNT PRICE: £30 FOR CURRENT IATE STUDENTS AND MEMBERS
    (advertised price: £42)

    ABOUT THE LECTURE
    Professor Teicher has carried out groundbreaking work on the adverse effects on the child’s developing brain of painful parent-child and child-to-child interaction. As well as researching the effects of sexual and physical abuse on the child’s developing brain, he has now found that very critical parenting such as screaming and shouting at a child and also school bullying causes cell death in the brain and adverse changes to various key processing systems. His presentation will cover all this, hence it is a must-for all child mental health professionals.

    ABOUT PROFESSOR MARTIN TEICHER
    Director of the Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program at McLean Hospital since 1988. Dr. Teicher has served as an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Developmental Psychopharmacology Laboratory at the Mailman Research Center since 1990. Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, Current Pediatric Reviews, and Current Psychosomatic Medicine. Member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation, and been part of Harvard University’s Brain Development Working Group. Has served on or chaired numerous review committees for the National Institute of Health, published more than 150 articles, and has received numerous honors.

    More info and to book: http://www.childmentalhealthcentre.org/lectures/details/73?xref=80

  2. Tiemo Talk says:

    ***** 5/5
    The Devil amongst us? The Jimmy Savile scandal

    Hot of the Press
    Battle of Ideas 2012
    Barbican Centre

    Saturday 20th October 2012

    Since the first accusations of child abuse were made against the late Jimmy Savile in September 2012, this scandal has dominated media coverage and public debate like few others. The media’s and general public’s appetite for details is much like Jimmy Savile’s sexual desires. Enormous, irresistable and never ending.

    However, as the scandal widens, day by day, we need to ask if a climate of hysteria is emerging?

    How do we retain a sense of proportion, without trivialising serious instances of sexual exploitation of the young?

    Emiritus Professor Frank Furedi in conversation with Ellie Young.

    Tiemo review

    This was an un-scheduled, obviously unforseen hot topic, which turned out to be a very welcome addition to the ‘Hot off the Press’ strand of Battle of Ideas.

    The discussion blew a refreshing gust of air over the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal that has dominated our news for the past 4-5 weeks. If you pardon the pun, what we got was frank talk, both literally and figuratively, from emiritus Professor Frank Furedi.

    A Culture of Fear

    In 2002 Professor Frank Furedi published ‘A culture of fear’. Amongst a number of fear based theories, he alluded to the possibility that in every household lived a potential abuser.

    Sadly this may indeed be the case. Some reports state that a shocking 1 in 4 adults and children have suffered child abuse. Add in physical and emotional abuse cases and the figures are frightening.

    Frank sought to put the hysteria into historical context. Firstly, he argued that it is highly likely that Jimmy Savile deliberately entered the pop music business in the sure knowledge that it would provide him with plenty of opportunities to be surrounded by young children. For reasons that have now become all too transparent I would agree that, with hindsight, that is a fair assumption to make.

    Changing moral values
    Secondly, he made the point that the moral values of today are totally different to those popular in the swinging 60’s when Savile’s reign of, what society would now deem to be, sexual abuse and deviancy, was in its ascendancy.

    It follows therefore that in interpreting and castigating him for his past behaviour, what the media has done this month can best be descibed as re-evaluating, conflating and mis-contextualising values of a different age with today’s moral values. In decades gone by, for instance in the 1960’s Savile’s behaviour (sex with under 16’s, groping women – excluding abuse of sick patients) would not have been considered scandalous. It was indeed considered legitimate, which would partially explain why he was seemingly rarely or never seriously pulled up on it.

    This is an interesting point. A man in the audience agreed and questioned where all this might end, for he was aware of members of a well known and still highly revered rock band sleeping with 15 year old girls. Where do you draw the line?

    Whilst I understand and can accept this argument up to a point, namely if society accepted sexual advances and engagement with under 16 year old’s as well as older women, and men took advantage of that ie went as close to the line as feasible without causing a scandal, then it is arguably wrong and unjust to deem this immoral, illegal and un-acceptable just because acceptable moral boundaries have shifted.

    Age of consent
    That said, for decades the age of consent has been 16, meaning it has been illegal to have sex with an under 16 year old. Perhaps that was one of the laws that society/The Police didn’t particularly look to prosecute years ago? If so, there may well be legitimate questions for The Police to answer, but it’s not practical or reasonable to apply today’s standards to yesteryear’s. It’s not so long ago when it was not compulsory to wear a seat belt when driving or that it wasn’t illegal to drink and drive. Are we to go back and prosecute those that used to drink and/or failed to wear a seatbelt? I don’t think so.

    Culture of abuse
    Frank’s other vital point was the growth of what he termed “toxic values ” and a ‘culture of abuse’ in society. In his view the term ‘scarred for life’ is a recent phenomonen of the last 25 years. What he meant by the culture of abuse is that he considered “abuse can become what you want it to be and that includes being destructive. It’s therefore a cultural phenomenon.”

    In other words he is saying that abuse has always existed well before the days of Jimmy Savile, but people didn’t respond to it in the way they are arguably being persuaded to now by the media and popular culture.

    This met with a fair degree of agreement from the audience, with one woman saying, “We’re just ripping behaviour out of historical context. Savile having sex with 15 year olds was against the law then and is now, but frankly people werent that appalled by it.”

    Another women recounted that as a 13 year old growing up in the 60’s if she were wearing a mini skirt, “it was normal to get men touching your legs. You’d just smack them. And smack them again if they didn’t stop and then move on! The reason we didn’t say anything was because it had no effect on us. I wasn’t harmed then and aren’t now.”

    When I asked if Frank was inferring that this was just a media storm and whether people used to just put it behind them he concurred, explaining that the media is converging in it’s un-relenting attack on the BBC.

    Frank believed this culture of abuse, “becoming a victim”, was dangerous, saying it can make children (and adults) less resilient than they might otherwise have been.

    He recalled how a few years ago there was a huge furore over the Headteacher in a North East School who banned parents from taking photos of the children on sports day “to protect the children”. Many were appalled at this over reaction and considered it would just be a one off, but it’s since become common policy now right across the country. It’s ridiculous and speaks to my fear of this dangerous culture of abuse.

    “We’ve arrived at a situation where generations are estranged from one another. Where any adult is perceived as the dangerous stranger for just touching a child, when for instance, the child may have fallen over or appear upset for some reason and the adult is merely being a compassinate comforter.

    Children need and want to be hugged and loved. We’re paying too big a price now and things are no better. Children are no safer.

    The key for me is how we handle powerful people. They seem to be allowed to get away with anything.”

    A woman in the audience agreed, making the point that, “It’s very negative if we encourage children to be fearful of adults. We now have adults fearful to interact with young people.
    Schools are telling children to be fearful. This is just so wrong.”

    In defence of the BBC
    One man, in support of the BBC, said “it seems that the only people in Britain unaware of Savile’s abuse were senior BBC executives. That may well be true. Senior executives don’t want to hear bad news and perhaps staff kept the bad news away from them. The danger is of re-interpreting events years later on and therefore out of context.

    Summing up
    Frank closed by saying the multitude of inquiries would prove to be pointless and a waste of time and money as he could tell us now what the 4 main outcomes are likely to be.

    There is a danger when we parade celebrities as morale crusaders, such as Jamie Oliver and Bono for instance. Jimmy Savile was like this. Remove his charity work and he’s just Jimmy Saville TV presenter. The sad thing is we still do this to celebrities today.”

    My view is that first of all we have a slight conundrum. The good and bad side of Savile. Despite current revulsion towards him, you can’t deny he did a lot of good in his lifetime. He did raise millions for charity and also was undoubtedly an excellent and extremely popular TV and radio Presenter. He did make dreams come true on ‘Jim’ll Fix it.’ There’s no way he would have lasted so long in show business if he wasn’t.

    Set aside from that though, this is hard to recall now with his reputation so utterly in tatters due to ‘the other side of Jimmy Savile.’

    At the start of this review, the question was posed about whether the media/society was getting hysterical over this. I think we are, but it’s entirely justified. People are shocked that his excesses, his crimes(as they were under law) were well known in many institutions – The BBC, Broadmoor, the Police, Duncroft school etc… yet no-one blew the whistle and called time on Savile until father time caught up with him.

    Regarding the ‘culture of abuse’ I am fully aware that abuse is real and much more universal than many people realise. However I do believe the passage of time can and should be a healer. It’s barely credible for people to be talking about ‘bearing the scars of abuse’ of events over 20 years ago.

    I also still believe still that many more ‘victims’ could and should have spoken up much earlier, not just for their own sakes, but for the sake of the other victims that were to follow. One ‘victim’ Karin Ward, spoke on Panorama about how, at age 14, she repeatedly over a period of time allowed herself to be used sexually by Savile in order to visit TV Centre and get on TV. I can’t respect that or accept victimhood from someone allowing herself to be bought just to get on TV.

    People should have spoken up a long time ago – victims, adults and others, children too, in the know all those years ago stretching back to 1959.

    People do need to get a grip on this. Be realistic. We do need to learn lessons from this regarding how we report and handle complaints and how TV deals with its major stars and doesn’t allow them to get away with anything. Proper accountability is required too for those in authority, individuals (be they private or public figures) and institutions too.

    Tiemo Talk of the Town
    30th October 2012

  3. Tiemo Talk says:

    I think Steve Messham has a lot to answer for. I feel sorry for George Entwhistle decidinghe to resign on Saturday night. Why I don’t know. It hasn’t solved anything.

    I have sympathy for Steve for the abuse he says he’s suffered, but 20+ years on to basically drop an innocent former Tory MP in it is unforgiveable. He too had a duty to verify the person he was accusing before going on Newsnight. He had long enough to get his facts straight after all. Will he be resigning too?

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