UK & World News

  • 24 February 2014, 9:54

Savile Victims: We Were Ignored And Laughed At

Jimmy Savile abuse victims have claimed they were laughed at and ignored when trying to report their experiences to authorities.

The revelations come as more than 130 victims begin a High Court fight later, for compensation to be paid out of the late DJ's will.

Lawyers will argue for money from a 4m charitable fund set up in Savile's name when he died in 2011.

The latest comments from victims have come out of an investigation into how abused people were treated at the time.

Children's charity the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) held interviews and focus groups with 29 victims as part of a comprehensive report into how abuse claims were dealt with by authorities.

Many of the interviewees, who were children at the time of their abuse, admitted that they did not come forward out of a fear they would be branded liars and be laughed at.

One victim who did speak out said: "Everyone found it hilarious so eventually I just stopped talking about it."

The report said this was a recurring theme from their research: "Jimmy Savile was a powerful and influential adult, who was seen as a charitable, good guy, raising a lot of money for charity. This led to feelings of helplessness and inferiority in his victims, who felt there was no way that their word would have been believed over his."

The report is also expected to outline a feeling among victims that police were unapproachable - which is something the victims say still needs to be addressed more than 40 years later.

Liz Dux, a lawyer acting on behalf of many of Savile's victims, told Sky News: "It is still not easy for victims of abuse to report to the police and what they (the victims) want to see enacted, and I wholeheartedly endorse this, is some sort of a central contact point where victims of abuse can go immediately to specialised offices.

"It's very important for these victims that they're dealt with by someone who has experience with these types of offences."

The NSPCC report is also expected to show that another reason so many cases of abuse were overlooked at hospitals is because staff had no obligation to act on complaints.

Victims who were interviewed all agree that making it a legal obligation for staff to report allegations of abuse could have led to the arrest of the late radio and TV personality.

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