Let’s talk about child sex abuse

Many of us here in the UK  watch as the horror of the Jimmy Savile sex scandal continues to unfold…and unfold. More and more allegations of the sexual abuse he carried out against children as young as ten are continuing to come out of the woodwork. And then there’s the arrests of high-profile men such as Freddie Star and Jim Davidson in the investigation surrounding Savile known as Operation Yewtree.

These are men whose faces we grew up with in the 80’s- TV’s personalities that entertained us every weekend- back when there were only four TV channels and families across the country sat down to watch the same programmes; someone like Jimmy Savile’s was a household name. So yes, its shocking and saddening to think that all along they might have been sexual predators committing crimes against children who were the same age as I was at the time.

Are we shocked because its them, or because this kind of activity was going on in the first place? Both I expect.

The sad fact is, that children from a primary school age (I’d hate to say younger) are, and have always, been vulnerable to sexual predators, and these are not just men but women too. This kind of vile behaviour just defies belief. Growing up we’d hear of high profile cases like the Moors murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley and feel relieved that it was only ‘their sort’- the really sick- in- the- head types, that did this. We’d somehow feel reassured that because we weren’t hearing about it on the news it wasn’t really going on in our towns or neighbourhoods. But just because there has been a sudden proliferation of reporting in the news media of paedophiles it doesn’t mean this a new thing specific to the late 90’s and onwards.

Perhaps its the culture of silence that is changing. (The courage of the Savile victims to come out, after all this time and talk about their abuse is so admirable. Hopefully this will enable other abuse victims to finally speak up and see some kind of justice or at least personal healing. If nothing else, this could be a good thing to come out of the Savile affair.)

As a society, and as parents we do need to accept the fact that sexual predators are rife and even present in our own community. Sadly last year, a dad in our community was jailed for sexual activity against a minor. He systematically abused a young girl for two years. Yes we were all shocked, horrified and frankly in utter disbelief. But it brought home to me the truth of how real sexual abuse against children is, how vulnerable they are, and our need to protect them. Sex crimes against children have always been going in, it seems that finally it’s being recognised for what it is- not just a pat or a grope from a famous person or an over-friendly uncle. Its a violation of a child’s right to personal safety and dignity, a violation of their own sexuality.

Some of the victims that have spoken out against Savile have claimed that he would just grope them in a room with other people- like this was a socially acceptable thing to do, just because he was famous. And we’ve all heard the rumours that the BBC allegedly covered up this behaviour, as if they are able to do that because he was a TV personality, as if its ok to let a child or young person suffer that kind of humiliation and awful  violation. It’s not ok! Once a child’s innocence is taken away it will never be restored and they have to live with the shameful memory of what was done to them, for the rest of their lives.

The Delhi rape last month has finally got us talking about violence against women and specifically rape. Can we please now starting talking about the threat that exists towards our children- often from within the family and community?

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12 thoughts on “Let’s talk about child sex abuse

  1. I remember watching Jimmy Savile when I was a kid and thinking of him as some kind of harmless, eccentric uncle who was indifferent to women ‘cos he ‘loved his mum’. How naive we were back then…..

    And now the BBC/Police/NHS think that this glorified witch hunt will make up for decades of turning their faces away when presented with hard evidence, but the reality is, no matter how many old back-in-the-day has beens are pulled in for pinching someones bum (or worse of course) in 1978, will not get them off the hook. We hope.

    I try and find empathy for people with unnatural urges that they claim not to be able to help, but they have a choice to medicate away their urges and get help. The damage they do for what amounts to a genital sneeze, cobwebs out, fingers stretching far and wide, sullying the lives of hundreds and their potential victims.

  2. My husband always say’s “Just because it wasn’t talked about before doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening.” I am actually torn when it comes to weather or not this kind of thing should be publicized as much as it should. Maybe it lends too much publicity to the perp.

    Its such a horrible thing. I’ve had some experience with the horrors of rape and molestation in my own world. I fear not being able to protect my little ones from the horrible horrors of the real world. These sick pedophiles, sick perverted people desiring control and manipulation of some one weaker or smaller then them. Maybe it happened to them or maybe it didn’t, maybe they are actually ill and I try to be non-judgmental for it isn’t my place. Yet I can’t help to not be. It takes all I’ve got not be be crippled in fear hiding my children in a cocoon of some kind from the horrible people. Then what kind of Mother would that make me. *Excuse my ramble*

    • Well I agree with your husband and that is precisely my point- it has always been happening and as a society we need to shine the light on it to expose these evils. People need to understand it is not ok to do this to children or young adults, and I think in the past sex predators carried out this abuse because they knew they could get away with it. Victims are usually too ashamed or afraid to speak up and that gives the perpetrator power over them. But the less taboo a subject it becomes hopefully that will change.

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  4. It is very sad that people who violate small children and women go un-punished. Law should punish these culprits severely, so they won’t attempt it again…

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