Allegations about sexual abuse of children by Jimmy Savile demonstrate how adults fail to protect children, according to a leading child protection charity.
The Lucy Faithfull Foundation, which runs the sexual abuse prevention campaign Stop it Now! UK and Ireland, said the barriers that prevent people reporting their suspicions exist to this day and that many children across the country are at risk of sexual abuse because adults do not know what to do.
Television and radio presenter Savile, who died last year, has been accused of sexually assaulting under-age girls over a 40-year period.
The Metropolitan Police is pursuing 120 separate lines of inquiry after women have come forward claiming he assaulted his victims in a range of locations, including BBC premises, hospitals and care homes.
The Lucy Faithfull Foundation, the only UK-wide charity dedicated solely to protecting children from sexual abuse, said the Savile case highlights how adults too often fail to protect children and young people from sexual harm – and this situation is little better today than it was in the past.
Director of Research and Development Donald Findlater said: “Child sexual abusers all too often go unchallenged.
"In recent days we have heard from people who say they either witnessed inappropriate behaviour by Savile, or heard rumours of it, but that they failed to act at the time.
"The reasons why they failed to act, such as being afraid of not being believed, not knowing who to report their concerns to, being scared of possible repercussions or because he was an apparently well loved celebrity, are relevant to all cases of abuse whether it’s abuse by an authority figure in the community or abuse within the family.”
The Foundation is calling for all adults to take responsibility for protecting children.