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Sun Mar 3, 2013 4:27PM
The BBC has silenced victims of sex abuse at licence payers’ expense.

The BBC has silenced victims of sex abuse at licence payers’ expense.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has gagged female members of staff who made complaints regarding bullying or sexual harassment, UK media reports suggest. The state-run BBC has forced at least 20 former employees to sign the gags, called compromise agreements, banning them from speaking out about their experiences of harassment at the corporation, The Sunday Times reported. The group had made formal complaints to the BBC review set up in the wake of the former TV host Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal. They accused the broadcaster of “hypocrisy” in using license fee payers’ money to silence its own ex-employees who had made sex complaints. Former Countryfile presenter Miriam O’Reilly said, “I spent 25 years being told by the BBC that we uphold freedom of speech and now it takes that away to uphold its corporate reputation.” Another woman, who signed gagging clauses when she left the BBC, said, "This is taxpayers' money being spent to stop me talking about discrimination against women in the BBC." The corporation found itself surrounded by a crisis after an ITV Exposure documentary blew the lead off the Savile story in October 2012. Earlier in January, a 37-page report by the police and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Savile was branded as one of the UK’s most prolific known sexual predators who used his celebrity status to “hide in plain sight.” According to the report titled “Giving Victims a Voice,” Some 214 crimes, including 34 of rape or penetration during 54 years of abuse committed by the presenter, were recorded across 28 police force areas. SSM/PKH/HE
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