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Demolishing Savile's cottage does nothing to help abused

As someone whose work is with survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and as a keen hillwalker who loves Glencoe, I feel dismayed at what is happening to Allt na Righ, the house Jimmy Savile owned for some years ("Savile cottage 'may be demolished'", The Herald, November 14).

I ask everyone involved to re-think.

Proposals for demolition, from Councillor Andrew Baxter, are policies of despair against the current wave of vandals. But they also pander to a hypocrisy witnessed throughout the UK.

Rushed removal of commemorative names, other tributes to or associations with Savile enable embarrassed agencies to wipe all traces of their link with him, and wash their hands of his actions. They may feel better but this does little for survivors. What would have made a difference was if people who feted him over 40 years had reported him, and prosecutors had taken him to court.

Buildings aren't guilty, people are. This house had a longer, proud association with famed mountaineer Hamish McInnes; it is a useful contact point for people with mountain emergencies; and previous proposals for a centre for people with disabilities who love the mountains were excellent and needed. Must this be the result, that at least this one positive legacy now cannot come about?

The vandals and graffiti mob do nothing for abused people, their actions just make them puffed-up and self-congratulatory. If, as I suspect, they were abused themselves, could they find courage to report and seek help, instead of projecting their rage uselessly?

If they are just mindless and aggressive, the police need to install CCTV cameras and arrest them.

Please, councils, funding trusts, mountaineering interests and communities, have the care and courage to create a positive outcome and future purpose for this historic and picturesque building, one which gives something back to vulnerable people.

Sarah Nelson,

Comely Bank Road,

Edinburgh.

Contextual targeting label: 
Hobbies and general interest

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