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The NSPCC and Metropolitan Police release report into allegations against Jimmy Savile

'Giving Victims a Voice' seeks to give comfort to those abused and prevent widespread abuse from happening again

The NSPCC and Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) have today released a report that looks into the allegations of sexual abuse made against Jimmy Savile under Operation Yewtree.

Following the documentary 'Exposure: The Other Side to Jimmy Savile' shown on ITV in early October 2012, there has been a growing number of allegations made against the former television presenter and others.

Anyone who had suffered from abuse was encouraged to call the NSPCC to seek help, resulting in a huge number of allegations against Jimmy Savile over the following months.

Download 'Giving Victims a Voice' (PDF, 2Mb)

A lack of justice for the victims

As Jimmy Savile died in late 2011, criminal prosecutions cannot be brought against him, nor can the testimony of his victims be challenged in the courts. Given the lack of potential justice for the victims, the report is being published in the public domain.

Approximately 600 people have come forward since the beginning of Operation Yewtree to provide information, with about 450 cases referring to Jimmy Savile.

Most of the offences were opportunistic sexual assaults, but there were other cases where grooming or planning occurred. Within the recorded crimes there are 126 indecent acts and 34 rape or penetration offences.

Preventing widespread abuse in the future

Peter Watt, NSPCC director of child protection advice and awareness, said:

"The sheer scale of Savile's abuse over six decades simply beggars belief. He is without doubt one of the most prolific sex offenders we have ever come across and every number represents a victim that will never get justice now he is dead. But with this report we can at least show his victims that they have been taken seriously and their suffering has been recognised.

"We also know from the huge increase in calls to the NSPCC helpline about sexual abuse that the problem did not die with Savile. Since the Savile scandal broke we have seen a surge in contacts about child abuse, both past and present, with many victims speaking out for the first time.

"Almost 800 additional children have been protected from abuse because the publicity around this case prompted people to contact our helpline.

"We are optimistic that this signals a watershed moment for child protection in this country. We must seize the opportunity if we are to make a lasting change.""

Ensuring that abuse is reported

One most disturbing aspects of the case has been the reluctance of those abused to come forward before now.
The largest proportion of those who contacted the NSPCC had never spoken about their experiences for a number of reasons, including:

  • a fear of not being taken seriously
  • a perception that they were responsible for what happened
  • a belief that the abusive behaviour was normal
  • a lack of trust in statutory agencies and the belief that justice would not be done.

Times may have changed and people are more aware of child sex abuse today, but we shouldn't assume that this will never happen again. The last reported abuse by Savile was only a few years ago.

Sex offenders are cunning and adept at hiding their behaviour so we should always be vigilant and report any concerns if we are to protect children from abuse.

We offer help and advice to anyone who thinks they may have been abused, through our ChildLine service for children and the NSPCC helpline service for adults.

We also encourage anyone who suspects that a child might be suffering from abuse to not wait until they are certain, but to call us on 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk.

We cannot allow the widespread abuse of children to happen again. It is the responsibility of everyone to ensure that all children in the UK get the childhood they deserve.

Further info

Worried about a child? Contact the NSPCC helpline
Read the joint press release with the Metropolitan Police
Online advice

Images of Jimmy Savile courtesy of the BBC

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