Abusers should be made to feel full force of the law

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I was on stage and became aware that I was being groped by another member of the cast’ a female friend, who works in the entertainment industry, told me recently.

So I asked her what she did about it. She replied: ‘I stood on his foot with the heel of my stiletto.’

Good for her. Yet why didn’t she report his unacceptable behaviour?

‘As he was such a big star, I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to get into trouble or get thrown off the production.’

You can guess what we were talking about – the Jimmy Savile scandal. My friend’s opinion was slightly different to mine as more and more incidents of ‘over-friendly’ behaviour in the ’70s and ’80s come to light.

‘That was how it was back then’, she told me.

I remember in my early days in radio coming across male presenters who were full of bravado when it came to females. Luckily, they were the type that would run a mile if such a female ever responded to their suggestions by saying ‘okay’.

But as the revelations about Jimmy Savile shock us all, is a witch-hunt now the right thing to do? It was three decades ago and our society was very different then. In those days, DJs were idolised.

Jimmy Savile is no longer with us, so I’m not sure what an inquiry into his activities would achieve. But what of others who may have behaved in the same way? Or the people who knew about what was going on, but said nothing?

For me, if anyone still alive is found guilty of having abused children, then they should feel the full force of the law, no matter what the culture was at the time.

But my friend feels differently about the ‘gropers’ of the ’70s and ’80s. For her, that was then and this is now.

Thankfully, the days when men could abuse their status have gone. And in recent years, MPs, journalists, the police and now entertainers have learned they are not above the law, with scandals involving expenses, phone-hacking, Hillsborough and now Savilegate hitting the headlines.

Long may the cleansing process continue and we get to a situation where people in power are no longer able to misuse their position.