|British pop star Gary Glitter in London on Jan. 21, 1973|
That’s what Jon Bird’s mother told him in 1963 when he ran home at age 4 weeping and in pain, after a stranger pulled him into the woods and raped him.
He heard the same thing six years later, he said, when a boarding school head teacher was fired — but not criminally charged — for sexually assaulting Bird and other students.
Denial, forgetting and covering up were for years the British response to allegations that children were being sexually abused in institutions that were supposed to care for them. Now those walls are coming down.
The UK is poised to launch a major national investigation into allegations that government officials knowingly covered up evidence of sexual abuse of children over decades, even when those crimes were perpetrated by people in the highest echelons of public life and in institutions specifically tasked with children’s care. (more...)