Charity bombarded with calls following Savile claims

An unprecedented number of sexual abuse victims have contacted a Scarborough charity in the wake of the shocking allegations made against Sir Jimmy Savile.

In what’s been dubbed ‘The Savile effect’, volunteers at the charity HOPE have handled approximately 70 calls in the past three days from abuse victims.

Typically, the charity only handles around 10 calls per month.

It comes just after North Yorkshire Police announced that an allegation against Savile had been made regarding an incident that occurred in Scarborough.

A team of dedicated staff have worked tirelessly over the past few days to deal with the surge in calls, which have been made by abuse victims who have had memories of their own personal ordeal triggered by the Savile accusations.

“These are people who have been deeply affected by the Jimmy Savile story’, said Hope’s Andrea Miller.

“Usually we only average about 10 calls in a month, and on some days, we don’t even get a single call.”

She added that the majority of people calling are local to the Scarborough area.

However, they have also fielded calls from as far away as Ireland and Scotland.

Pauline Carruthers founded HOPE in 2003. A victim of childhood abuse herself, she has since been awarded an OBE for her efforts.

She said: “To be honest, I had expected these calls to eventually come in. Events like this do trigger peoples memories, and something which they have stored away will come to the fold.

“People don’t just see something and make a call, it takes days or weeks for it to sink in before they pick up.”

Up until Tuesday, of the 50 plus phone calls made to the charity, they had made six referrals, and Andrea said that she hopes that at least some good can come out of the allegations.

“Doing this job never gets any easier. The stories that I’ve been told are all horrific.

“But they are all very, very brave for coming forward, and it’s good that this is as last all out in the public, and it could bring some light for the black for these people.”