This was the subject of the phone in, Your Call, on Radio 5Live aired this morning. Earlier, I had heard Brendan O’Neill, editor of on-line magazine Spiked, interviewed, and was astonished at what he said. Actually, I have been deeply troubled. Really Brendan, “if you were abused by Jimmy Savile, maybe you should keep it to yourself”? I couldn’t disagree more.
In my view, if the exposure of Jimmy Savile as a paedophile helps just one sexually abused person, then the media has done a great job. We know that many more than one have come forward from the past, claiming that they were abused by him. Specialist helplines are reporting many more calls for help and support. I’d like to think that these calls are also from people, children as well as adults, that are currently suffering sexual abuse at the hands of a perpetrator.
Do we really want those that suffer, or have suffered sexual abuse to keep silent? To keep it to themselves. I cannot think of any advantage. Personally, spiritually, societally, humanely. From my work with survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and also with families of children who have been sexually abused, there is a different journey that begins with disclosure; not an easy one. There is a horrendous prison that exists when survivors don’t tell – and statistically speaking, most don’t disclose. What I cannot understand, and I really try to be open minded, is how it can be good to our Society to keep a lid on the sexual abuse of children. This thought will trouble me for a while.
For anyone that witnesses the horror of a story – of memories of being crushed by the lumpen weight of a perpetrator, stale-breathed, panting, dripping with sweat, and the pain, and the raw, ripping pain of rape. I defy them not to want to stand up and fight on their behalf and give a voice to the voiceless.
While the link lasts, you might want to hear the phone in….