Savile Case Rocks BBC & Stop it Now! UK speaks out

British star Jimmy Savile protected by his celebrity

The news that Jimmy Savile, a revered BBC radio and TV star who died last year at 84, allegedly abused over 200 young girls highlights realities that Stop It Now!, our sister organization Stop it Now! UK and Ireland, and others have spoken out about for years. His abuse of children was apparently widely known or suspected among many at the top of the BBC leadership and in media circles. The Savile case reminds us that:

  • People who abuse children are known and trusted by the children they harm and the adults in that child’s life.  
  • Many people who sexually abuse children go to great lengths to gain access to children and to deflect suspicion. 
  • Abusive behavior persists due to the inability or unwillingness of individuals and organizations to create safe environments for children, and to take action when concerns and recognizable warning signs arise.
  • It is possible to be proactive about preventing child sexual abuse, including before children are harmed.

There are many parallels between Jimmy Savile, Jerry Sandusky and abusive Boy Scout leaders, just as there are between the BBC, Penn State, the Boy Scouts of America. They point to the behaviors of people who abuse children, and the self-interest of institutions and leaders to choose to protect themselves from scandal over protecting children. Informed action by individuals, organizations and communities is the only effective way to prevent child sexual abuse. Together we can prevent child sexual abuse.

Stop It Now! and Stop It Now! UK & Ireland have a wealth of resources - from materials to trainings to a Helpline - to help individual and organization proactively respond to concerns about child sexual abuse. Our resources can help identify and respond to signs of abuse, act responsibly on suspected abuse, create safety in organizations and families, and provide support to those dealing with situation involving current or past child sexual abuse. 

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