Savile's media coverage has re-stimulated the feelings that
local abuse survivors feel about the difficulties they suffered
as children, and still suffer as adults. SACA's phone line has become busier as a result. The positive outcome is that new clients have called us, and since found the help that they needed.
Each survivor suffers abuse in entirely unique and different circumstances, whereby the abuser was perhaps from the family, or was a friend of the family, or was within the community where they grew up.
As a result of the survivors' efforts from Medomsley Detention Centre, the Statute of Limitation was changed in 2008, making it possible for survivors to prosecute their abusers at any date after the crimes. More cases are hitting the headlines today as a result. Nicky Campbell's BBC breakfast radio show ' Five Live' hosted two survivors from Medomsley, where torture and abuse is now known to have occurred in the 70's and 80's. Neville Husband, (now deceased) was the paedophile concerned.
He was a crown prison officer and minister of the United Reform Church and was eventually convicted for ten years on Feb 14th 2003. Until 3rd October, you can listen to John McCabe speak on BBC Iplayer about what hit him as a 17 year old when he met Neville Husband, 'He looked like a decent person to me ... he was friendly.' John then described how the abuse played out. After telling his boss over 20 years later, he went to the police. They, the CPS and everyone urged him to tell his wife, but he said, 'I couldn't do it, I was just too ashamed.' Now that he has, his wife has felt enabled to support him.
Historically, there has been a denial about the extent of child abuse in our culture - but this is starting to change.
Every so often, something happens to help that process. In the recent Jimmy Savile scandal, his crimes were
denied at first.
The police did not investigate the allegations. It took a TV documentary and a few participating survivors to make any progress.
The TV programme dented the silence and paved the way for more people who had been abused by Jimmy Savile to come forward. Through the pressure from the survivors involved, these crimes began to be properly investigated by the law.
Most people who abuse children are never identified, are never prosecuted, and never go to prison. It is abhorrent for us to think about someone we admire as being capable of abusing a child, and that is probably the most powerful reason why, as a society, we refuse to deal with it. These abhorrent feelings provide a thick wall, that in turn provides the shade where child abusers can hide.
Survivors of child abuse often live with a burden of concern not just for the children who may currently experience abuse, but for other survivors who have had nobody to talk to, and have had little respect or recognition from the police authorities or the NHS.
Another survivor from Medomsley, Kevin Young speaks further in interview with Nicky Campbell to say that he
Would rather outline the events in Medomsley as torture,
As defined by Amnesty International