* Dinah Rose is leading the BBC investigation regarding the handling of past sexual harassment claims against Jimmy Savile
1 November 2012
Dinah Rose QC
I have been following the continuing exposure of the Savile case with interest and disbelief.
Ms. Rose’s investigation into the past claims not acted upon expose a greater ill in our society and one that I hope will be included as part of the recommendations at the end of the case.
The Savile situation proves that many, many people knew what was going on – and did/said nothing for over 50 years – because “that was just how it was in the 60’s/70’s/80’s”. This attitude is still in existence today. We see abuse and say nothing. The ex-porter at the Leeds hospital who saw Savile with girls on numerous occasions; the BBC staff; the police who didn’t follow up claims – all in criminal collusion.
The on-going abuse of women in/by the media has devalued women to such an extent that there is a deep illusion that we have advanced as a western society. Of course, there are women in positions of power, but we well know that these are few and far between and are often treated with abuse from the press and male colleagues as per the recent expose by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
I feel Savile and the obvious paedophile gang operating at the BBC link this to the contempt with which the girls were treated, over many years. The behaviour was/is acceptable and continues unabated – in fact with more force than the Savile years. There is more porn-style media in our mainstream press than ever before.
When a recommendation is made at the end of the Savile case, please consider the wider picture of how we see girls/women/children are treated in the mainstream media – porn is on our supermarket shelves and on the front of every paper. We are numb to it and when it’s brought up, the attitude is usually that we are making a big deal of nothing, eg, Page 3. Men can see this as normal and sexualise women without giving it a second thought.
Ms. Rose, you are in a position to bring a voice of true change and be a true leader. With your knowledge, experience and heart, you have the power to highlight the ROT we have all accepted as ‘normal’. As a sexual abuse survivor myself, your voice is needed now more than ever.
Thank you for your time to read this email and the attachments.
Please let me know if I can be of any support.
Sarah M Cloutier