Savile NHS Abuse: The victims' stories
- 26 June 2014
- From the section UK
Victims tell of their abuse at the hands of ex-BBC DJ Jimmy Savile as reports into his activities at NHS hospitals are published.
Children as young as five and people as old as 75 were victims over almost 50 years.
Nurses 'laughed' at victim abused in basement
One woman, known as Jane, told the BBC that she was abused by Savile when she was a 16-year old patient at Leeds General Infirmary.
He took her to a local shop to buy sweets and magazines, making her feel like "the chosen one", but soon afterwards sexually assaulted her in a hospital basement.
Jane said a hospital porter led her to the area where Savile was waiting behind a closed door.
"He pulled me in immediately and started to kiss me with his tongue," she said.
"At the same time his left hand went on to my right thigh under my dress."
She said the whole thing took no more than five or six minutes.
"There wasn't time to draw breath, there wasn't time to analyse even what's happening here because it was seamless... And then he said you've got to go," she said.
Jane said it was obvious this sort of thing had been done before.
After the assault she said she felt "dirty and ridiculously stupid". She said she began to tell nurses about the incident but they laughed and she felt she couldn't finish. Only her mother believed her.
She said "everybody knew" what was going on. "All the staff accepted it, patients accepted it, clearly the porters accepted it as well," she said.
Jane added that she had never kept the encounter a secret because she knew it was not her fault. But she wished now, knowing of all the other revelations, that she had reported the abuse.
Abuse left 'major and lasting' impact
Another of Savile's victims was aged under 10 years old in the late 1970s when she was abused by Savile at Leeds General Infirmary.
She told the investigation that Savile picked her up from her house to take her to hospital in a small two-seater car, meaning her family had to travel in another vehicle.
Once they arrived at hospital, Savile took her to a room with no windows and kissed her several times when her parents left the room.
Six months later, Savile abused her again when he picked her up in the same car to take her to another hospital appointment.
By her third appointment, she was so scared of Savile that she caused herself to have an accident to avoid going back to Leeds.
She was taken to a local hospital, where Savile visited her again. The experience left a "major and lasting impact" on her, the report said.
Savile gave victim 'no alternative'
A male patient at Broadmoor hospital, aged 18 at the time, told the investigation that Savile abused him in the early 1970s.
He was told to go to Savile's apartment alone to collect payment for washing cars.
When he arrived, Savile coerced him into giving oral sex.
He said he was unwilling to proceed but Savile gave him "no alternative".
He said he did not complain at the time for fear of being labelled a troublemaker and because of Savile's "considerable reputation around the hospital".
Savile repeatedly abused patients
Another Broadmoor patient who was assaulted was Ms E. She described how she was repeatedly abused in the early 1990s.
She said Savile was often unaccompanied and would sit in the day room and talk to patients while staff were elsewhere.
She described how on one occasion, while sitting with his back to other patients, Savile put his hand on her leg and then, while still talking, proceeded to move it upwards and assault her.
She said she froze and afterwards felt guilty. She told a member of staff, who said she must have imagined it.
She said Savile would assault her in the same way on several occasions over a number of weeks, before moving on to some other patient.
Her turn would then come round again - a cycle that was repeated several times. She told investigators it caused her "significant distress".
Abused while watching Top of the Pops
A female patient at Broadmoor, Ms B, described how an assault took place at the hospital during a screening of Top of the Pops in the early 1970s - it was pre-recorded at that stage.
Patients would be at the front of the day room and staff at the back. The room had a large sofa which blocked the view of those at the back.
On this occasion Savile came to sit with patients at the front. He sat on the floor next to Ms B and placed his hand between her legs and assaulted her.
The attack lasted two to three minutes, she said. Ms B said she did not feel able to complain either then or later for fear of being punished as a troublemaker.
Rape had 'deeply traumatic" effect
His offending was not confined to Broadmoor and Leeds. A woman told investigators how she was raped in 1970 at Digby Hospital in Exeter.
She was 25 at the time, married and had been admitted to hospital for depression.
She said Savile invited her into a motor-home in the grounds of the hospital where he then raped her.
She did not report the incident to anyone at the time. The review into the case said it had had a "deeply traumatic" effect on the woman.
The hospital closed in 1987.