It seems incredible that both Rolf Harris and Jimmy Saville both abused scores, if not hundreds, of young women and girls, and only decades later has it come to light.
It makes you wonder what were the circumstances that allowed them to get away with it for so long. Here’s my 2c on it:
- The times. Nowadays if a celebrity perved on you, more and more girls would kick them in the nuts (as they should) and Facebook or tweet what happened. Back in the 50s, 60s and 70s, it was far harder to tell people
- Their charity work. They often preyed on girls while doing charity work. That probably played on their guilt, that they didn’t want to say anything in case it harmed the charity
- Would they be believed? They didn’t realise hundreds of other girls had had the same thing happen to them. Why say anything, if you’ll not be believed.
- The Police. The UK Police seemed to have a see no evil, hear no evil attitude in those days, when it comes to celebrities.
- Institutional cover ups. The BBC, the hospitals and others had all heard the rumours. Some were open secrets. Rather than act on the rumours, they preferred to just hope they weren’t true. They were wrong.
Could this happen in NZ today? I hope not.
One can only feel for the scores of victims who had to spend decades thinking that this had happened to them only.
UPDATE: National MP Maggie Barry has revealed that Rolf Harris groped her when she was interviewing him, when she was in her 20s. Again, so many victims.