Victims of serial sex attacker Jimmy Savile were not believed when they first confided in others, an NSPCC report has found.
Many were ignored, dismissed or laughed at by those they told shortly after Savile abused them. The children's charity said the accounts were "heart-rending", and the victims had shown "true courage". Click here to read their full report.
NSPCC Director of National Services Peter Watt said: "The responses these victims received when they first revealed Savile's sickening crimes makes heart-rending reading. They were ignored, dismissed, not believed, laughed at and astonishingly told in some cases they should feel lucky he had paid them attention.
"Huge steps have been made in the way these crimes are handled by police. Victims are more confident that they will be listened to and taken seriously, but they still feel there's some way to go to make it a less daunting experience.
"We have moved on. But sadly children are still being shamed, embarrassed or threatened into silence by sex offenders. There is greater awareness now but we all have still a role to play in looking out for the signs of abuse so we can protect children and ensure there is never a repeat of the Savile scandal."
Howevever, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has responded to the report highlighting the historical culture of fear that prevented Jimmy Savile’s victims from speaking out following his crimes against them.
ACPO’s response specifically addresses one particular case outlined in the report – which was commissioned by HMIC - where nothing was done even after officers had been alerted by the victim.
National lead on child abuse investigation Chief Constable Simon Bailey (pictured) said: “It is saddening to read the experiences of the women and men abused by Savile in this report, and the impact it had on their lives. However, it also shows just how much has changed and improved in the way our society responds to child abuse.
“Police and prosecutors have taken radical steps to transform the way the criminal justice system tackles child sexual abuse. Victims can be reassured that if they come forward to report abuse to the police today they will be listened to, taken seriously and a full investigation will take place.”
For more on this story visit www.policingtoday.co.uk