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11:02am on Sunday, 28th April, 2013:

Long Ago


I think it's good that following the Jimmy Savile case a number of other individuals have been charged with child sex offences that they are alleged to have committed decades ago. However, I feel a little uneasy that all the names that are coming out seem to be people who either were famous at the time, became famous later or who were working for the BBC.

I can well believe that there was a lot of this kind of abuse going on in the 1960s and 1970s, but why is it that only high-profile individuals are being arrested? Is it that they were protected by their status, and that low-profile individuals who committed the same offences were tried and imprisoned at the time, several decades ago? That seems unlikely, given that some of the names that have emerged were low-profile at the time and only became high-profile later, or still are low-profile but they worked for a high-profile organisation.

If people suffered child abuse decades ago and are still traumatised by it today, then their abusers should be called to account irrespective of whether they're high-profile or not. It can't be that only people who were abused by people who became household names remain traumatised by their experience. It's easy to suppose that the people making the accusations are hoping for a big compensation payout, which is why no-one abused by some local nonentity is making noise, but I'm not so sure that this is what's happening. If you accuse a high-profile name, other people who also suffered will hear about it and step forward; if you accuse the creepy guy who used to be the school caretaker, you're not going to get much support from other victims. Therefore, the creepy ex-caretaker gets away with it because you don't think there's any point reporting him.

There's still something about all this that doesn't feel quite right, though.

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Copyright © 2013 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).