We hear this over and over and over again. Every single time a male actor, athlete, musician, artist, politician, chef (and the list goes on) are alleged to be perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence and abuse, the refrain is “oh, everyone knew”.
Jimmy Savile is one of the most prolific child sexual predators known in the UK.
He is NOT a “disgraced” former presenter.
We need to stop using euphemistic language when discussing sexual predators. Savile did not pee on the Queen or vomit on the Prime Minister. He didn’t get caught smoking pot in the House of Commons. He sexually assaulted, raped and tortured vulnerable children whilst the entire establishment, from the BBC to politicians to the police, looked the other way. It is beyond disgraceful for the media to run headlines like today’s Guardian:
At least 500 children abused by Jimmy Savile, new research claims
NSPCC study highlights extent of the disgraced presenter’s offending, making him one of the UK’s most prolific sex offenders
It’s not really that hard to come up with to describe Savile’s behaviour: violent would be a better word since sexual assault and rape are acts of violence. Or, and I know this goes beyond all the limits of thought, the media could just call him a serial sexual predator. Since that’s what Savile was.
The Savile inquiry was not about Savile’s reputation. It’s a criminal investigation into the assault, rape and torture of children committed by Savile. It’s not necessary to google synonyms; just call him what he is : a prolific sexual predator who raped children.
We know the police and CPS were aware because people told them.
Jimmy Savile did not groom the nation. He was allowed to continue abusing because he was a ‘celebrity’. Pretending that he “groomed the nation” allows those who knew to minimise and obfuscate their guilt. Those who knew and did nothing are guilty of helping Savile in sexually assaulting hundreds of children and adults. I say hundreds but we will never know how many.
The term “grooming the nation” only serves to silence victims. It serves those predatory, serial sex offenders who are still harming people. It makes Jimmy Savile a one-off case that will never be repeated.
But, Jimmy Savile isn’t the only one. He will never be the only one.
“Grooming the Nation” is about making bystanders feel better about having done absolutely nothing to protect vulnerable children and adults from a serial sex offender.
It not only absolved bystanders of responsibility; it gives them a space to be feted and petted in the press by journalists unwilling to look too closely at their own responsibility for reinforcing rape culture.
Jimmy Savile was a predatory, serial sex offender because people stood by and did nothing to stop him
How many other men are there today harming children and other adults safe in the knowledge that those around know and will do nothing to stop them? (A longer version of this piece has been published by the Huffington Post)