Yes, that attitude has worked so well during the past couple of millennia, hasn’t it? Seems we, as a race, are only prepared to look at certain things when they involve celebrities getting in on the twisted, dark act.
But all this attention upon the Jimmy Saviles and Rolf Harrises of this world is giving a false impression: That being rich and famous and, in some of these abusers’ eyes, above the laws which govern lesser mortals, means that such people feel they have a right to take what they want from children and teenagers, in a way that normal, working people, of course, do not.
Anyone who abuses starts from a position of inner superiority, of entitlement, of seeing others as possessions, objects. The high profile cases involving the rich and spoilt are not actually opening the can of abusive worms up in any useful way. Why?Because we are so busy searching for (and, at some level, enjoying in a sick, ‘Thank God it wasn’t me being fondled!’ way) those who were fiddled about with in the dim and distant past by known perverts that we forget about the day-to-day abuse of those who have no voice, no power, no rights and no Name to attach their ongoing terror and pain to.
The legal system, which lets down thousands of abused people, suddenly finds the wherewithal to prosecute the Named. High Profile means High Turnover and is fabulous for business.
The Great and the Bad are exceptions, glittering advertisements for a show. They are the salacious, newsworthy side of abuse. They are Soap Opera. But, away from High Courts and the Famed Shamed, we have thousands of vulnerable people, many of them women and children, who are enduring horrific abuse every day – and, because they are not attractive, or wealthy, or talented, or, in many cases, articulate, we would rather they remained anonymous dirt under life’s Carpet of Secrets. We don’t care until they die in the public eye and become horrific statistics and tragic reconstructions on the television.
How is it that we have swallowed this, ‘If it is not High Drama, it is not abuse?’ crap? Do victims have to be buried in forest glades, on life support in some ICU (their battered bodies unrecognisable), rented out to Daddy’s sleazy friends at five, pawned by Mummy to her boyfriend in exchange for drugs or booze, kept off school so that the authorities are not privy to the signs of Non-Accidental Injury in order for us to act on hunches?
How is it that we stopper our ears to those trying to disclose and call them delusional, or liars, of Drama Kings and Queens? How is it that we still fall for a charming and convincing act by the adults rather than listening to the faltering confessions of the child?
How is it that we stamp hard on our intuition, our sense of danger, of something being seriously amiss – and then, when it is too late, cry out, ‘If only I had listened/visited/intervened…’?
How is it that posts like this are judged inappropriate in some way, and go mysteriously missing, or have a limited shelf life?
The abused, deprived of help from society, very often trawl the Internet looking for answers, looking for help, looking for validation – and looking for a platform, often anonymous, in which they can share their grief and hurt feelings away from source.
Our tendency to sweep things under the carpet, to fear confrontation, to give baddies the benefit of the doubt has given us Trump. What a perfect symbol of the human reluctance to face things he is: A known felon, with court cases pending, a thug and a bully and a racist, yet still the President Elect. Why? Because, nearly 50% of the voting public swept reality under the carpet by failing to vote. Because they felt powerless? Because they did not want to face the fact that an emotionally abusive, Psychopathic man was going to be let loose upon the Nuclear Button? Because they, like so many others, assumed that his reputation was nothing but convenient media hype and that he’s a good guy really?
We in the UK are no better, frankly. We have allowed the Nigel Farages of this world to peddle their vile rhetorical wares. We have allowed hatred of foreigners to rise exponentially, fanning the flames of xenophobia and racial prejudice. We have opened the door to abuse: Of Refugees, of those with different coloured skins, of those whose beliefs do not conform to white Protestantism, to women and children who do not look like archetypal poverty-stricken victims.
Yes, the abuse perpetrated by Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris and Gary Glitter (to name but three) was beyond-belief ghastly. But there are still thousands of abusers out there, hiding behind closed doors or emerging in full view of the camera to spout their sanctioned hatred and filth.
Oh, we can look at him now and say, ‘Ooh, I always thought he was a bit creepy!’ – but what good is that to his victims, eh?
We can lament after the event and wail, ‘I had a feeling something wasn’t right?’ – but that can never bring the murdered child back to life, nor can it ease the suffering of the beaten girlfriend, the sexually-abused children, the terrorised spouses of both genders.
Let us rip that carpet off the floor and throw the bloody thing away. It hides things which should not be hidden. It allows the awful cycle of rape, violence, racism and murder to continue. It allows humanity to labour under the illusion that appearance matches character – and that the cries of women and children are hormones and tantrums respectively, and those of men, signs of weakness.
We allow abusers to rule our countries. Why? Because we still confuse stubbornness and brutality with strength. We still see the willingness to go to war, or pass laws excluding some races, as a sign of security and concern for the greater good of mankind – instead of the Advanced Playground Bullying it actually is more often than not.