Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Louis Theroux’s new Jimmy Savile documentary is a horrible misstep by @ProfKarenBoyle

The original BBC documentary by Louis Theroux in 2000 about Jimmy Savile, the former British TV star thought to have sexually abused at least 500 women and children, was uncomfortable viewing even before his crimes were common knowledge.  ...

Theroux revisits the moment in his new documentary, Louis Theroux: Savile. It is a statement of Savile’s power that helps us understand why his victims – a number of whom Theroux interviews in the film – found it so difficult to speak out while Savile was alive. Some are clearly still haunted by their failure to do so.

Theroux mostly acts as witness to their testimonies, aware of his own complicity in the myth-making that ensured their silence for so long. Yet as much as these victims deserve to be heard, the way their testimonies are framed is troubling. Louis Theroux: Savile is meant to be about the relationship between these two men. By persistently asking Savile’s victims how he got away with it, Theroux ends up effectively implicating them. ...


This article was first published on 3.10.16. You can find the full text here.

Inspired by our participation with the Write to End Violence Against Women awards organised by Zero Tolerance, we are now collecting examples of good journalism about domestic and sexual violence and abuse to make it clear that it is possible to write about DSVA without resorting to myths, misrepresentations, minimisation and victim blaming.

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One thought on “Louis Theroux’s new Jimmy Savile documentary is a horrible misstep by @ProfKarenBoyle

  • Polly says:

    Thank you for highlighting this article, it articulates everything about the documentary I was upset by much better than I ever could have myself, cheers P