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A personal reflection on the ‘Jimmy Savile affair’

November 29, 2013

As Jimmy Savile is in the news again, and 33 institutions are said to have been involved in abuse, I am offering this again, especially to those who missed it when it was first published almost a year ago.

ESRC Moral Panic Seminar Series, 2012 - 2014

Last week I joined Twitter. I wanted to respond to the (largely) positive reactions to the various newspaper articles I had written in recent weeks in response to the ‘Jimmy Savile’ affair. Now I want to tell a longer story, one that doesn’t belong in an academic journal or in a tweet, but which explains something about why I think this topic is so important, to me and for us all.

I was sexually assaulted in 1969 by the grandfather of a friend. I was 15 years old. We’d gone to visit him as we often did on a Saturday afternoon – he was lonely and a widower – and he was always glad to see us. On this occasion, he said he’d run out of cigarettes and asked my friend to run over to the local shop to buy some for him.  As soon as she was out of…

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