Victims of abuse ‘living in fear of speaking out against the powerful’

abuse victims are still frightened of speaking out against powerful people, Jeremy Hunt has warned in the wake of the shocking findings of the investigations into Jimmy Savile.

Jimmy Savile.

The Health Secretary said there had been major changes in recent decades but “we haven’t come the whole way”.

A series of chilling reports into the activities of Savile found he committed “truly awful” abuse against patients at hospitals across the country.

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Branded as an “opportunistic sexual predator” by investigators, the disgraced entertainer used the NHS and his celebrity status to “exploit and abuse” patients and staff.

Among the most disturbing findings were “macabre accounts” of events at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) and at least one other hospital.

Mr Hunt said: “So many of his victims didn’t speak up because they felt he had some absolute power, he was part of the establishment, he had friends in high places, he was a huge celebrity and no one would believe them and we have to change that.

“I think we are kidding ourselves if we think that there aren’t people even today who are frightened of speaking out in those situations and whilst, of course, we always look at the law, we also have to look at the culture and being better at supporting people who do want to speak out.”