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Monday 5 November 2012 Letters
Jimmy Savile
Sticking up for the victims

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Letters responding to: The savaging of Jimmy Savile, by Tim Black

Whilst I agree with the general gist of the article and related articles about the growing mistrust of adults, I think Black runs the risk of overlooking the many and pervasive effects that child abuse can have long into adulthood.

I agree when Black points out that ‘encouraging these now grown-up women to still think of themselves so many years on as Savile’s victims will do no one any good’. I know from experience, however, that when adults who have suffered child abuse think and talk about those experiences they may not be thinking of themselves as victims. Instead, they may simply be trying to achieve recognition among other things, encouragement or not.

Anna Knowles, UK

The BBC got on its high horse to pursue News International over phone-hacking. I reckon that enabling a paedophile for 20 years and trying to cover it up is a little bit worse.

But spiked should show more compassion to Savile’s victims. Come on, it’s pretty clear that these women aren’t lying.

I grew up with several friends who had been seriously sexually abused or had seen it happen to siblings. It really does ruin people’s lives, however hard they try to get over it. Don’t reduce them to wannabe eternal victims – it’s cold and cruel.

J Bridge, UK

I have worked with substance misuse clients for some years and during that time I have become aware of an unusual development. When things are at their worst for some clients, I have heard on at least a dozen occasions ‘I must have been abused when I was young, because how else could I have f***ed my life up so much?’. I am inclined to believe that it is not only professionals who are primed to be aware of potential abuse; often, out of desperation, clients look to abuse as the core reason for their desperate situation. Not only does it appear rational in these irrational times, but for years the TV and journalistic psychobabble has promoted the notion of repressed memories.

At best, this phenomenon could be seen as caused by the proliferation of accusations, articles, court cases and general ease by which ‘abuse’, in its widest sense, is common journalistic coinage. But at worst, it could be a symptom of a more insipid development where, in their desperation to make sense of a damaged life, individuals condemn memories by tainting them with fabrications that present society is always ready to consume. Everyone loses.

Conrad Spencer, UK


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