Radio Sandwell News

Channel 4's Jon Snow recalls childhood abuse

2013-02-26 06:45:43

Jon Snow

The Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow has described how he was abducted and abused by a member of staff at his school when he was six years old.

In a blog post on the Channel 4 website, Snow said the Jimmy Savile scandals had forced him to confront his own experience.

Snow praises the "courageous individuals" who have come forward in the wake of the scandal.

He says no effort should be spared in responding to them.

Snow had written previously about the 1953 encounter in his autobiography but said the "swirl of allegation and denial" at the current time forced many to "relive the abuse inflicted upon them".

"I know this in part because in a small way I too was a victim as a child," he said.

"This is a dramatic moment in the affairs of men and women; we shall all be tested. But don't underestimate what this time means to the abused.

"I know, I was six years old when a member of the domestic staff at the school, where my father taught, abducted me.

'Witch-hunt'

"He took me to his room and undressed me, and then himself. Thank heavens someone saw the abduction and eventually a member of staff intervened and rescued me.

"I remember to this day fretting over not being able to do my braces up. And I admit that I have found Savile regurgitating the guilt and confusion that I felt."

The news anchor, 65, stressed the importance of treading with "diligence and great care" in handling allegations of sexual assault.

"No amount of effort in responding to complainants must be spared, but neither must it be allowed to become a witch-hunt. We face some delicate balances in which the welfare of many is at stake. But I suspect the journey has only just begun," he said.

Jimmy Savile is alleged to have committed over 200 offences over 50 years, a report revealed in January.

The NSPCC said Savile, a former BBC DJ and presenter who died in 2011, had been one of the most prolific sex offenders in its 129-year history.

A spokeswoman for the child protection charity told the BBC the Savile revelations had caused hundreds of people who had been abused as children to contact them.

She said: "Hearing that Savile's victims had come forward gave them the strength to tell us what had happened to them. Many were speaking out for the first time.

"We know from our work with victims of child abuse that it is not unusual for them to be silenced for years because of fear and shame. Also they are often worried they will not be believed or taken seriously.

"No more children should have to suffer like this. We would urge anyone who is worried that a child is being abused to contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 for help and advice."

Source: bbc.co.uk

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