Harris child abuse education video surfaces

Last updated 14:38 01/07/2014
Sydney Morning Herald

Excerpts from Rolf Harris' 1985 school safety video warning children against adults and touches that "give you a no feeling".

ROLF HARRIS: 'Some people don't act right with kids, and they need help,' the convicted paedophile says in an anti-child abuse video.

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Rolf Harris, then a trusted and beloved entertainer, strolls into shot flanked by four youngsters. As they form a circle on the grass, Harris asks them to soak in the warmth of nature. "Let's breathe that air and feel that all over your skin. It's good isn't it?"

He leans over to a primary school-aged girl in a canary yellow top and holds her shoulders, saying: "It's a sort of feeling when you want to give somebody a big hug."

Harris then rubs his hands on the cheeks of a young boy and continues: "Or one of those pats that make you feel good."

This is the opening scene of what is now an unsettling 20-minute long anti-child-abuse video that prosecutors planned to play for the jury at Harris' indecent assault trial before it was barred by the judge. Overnight, Harris was declared guilty of all 12 charges of indecent assault against four girls, from 1968 to 1986.

The video, called Kids Can Say No, was developed in the mid-1980s, when he was indecently assaulting young women and girls - including one as young as seven or eight.

Harris had commissioned and fronted the child protection video, with endorsement from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, after being inspired by similar programmes in Australia. In the period when the video began to be widely shown in schools, youth clubs and health institutes in the United Kingdom, the court found he was also having sexual encounters with his daughter's best friend.

In 1986, he had sexually abused an eight-year-old girl at a community centre near her home when Harris performed Two Little Boys for the children.

The victim, 'R', told the court she felt his hand "out of nowhere" go down her back and up between her legs, "aggressively and forcefully". She said: "I knew it wasn't an accident... I understood that was wrong".

In the video, Harris speaks of different scenarios where children could find themselves in danger, like accepting a stranger's offer of a ride home or an attempt by an adult to have a bubble bath together.

In one scene, a young girl waits for her friend inside a home with the father. The man spills a drink on the girl and then attempts to unbutton her top.

"She has to do something, first of all she should look at him straight in the eye and tell him to stop," Harris says. "You must not be ashamed to tell people that you were touched where you didn't want to be touched."

He even goes as far as to say that children should not fear telling an adult about touching that causes "bad feeling" in case they person they accuse goes to prison.

"Some people don't act right with kids, and they need help. You can't protect them from trouble that they themselves have caused and it's better to say something so that you and the family can get the help you need," he says.

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The video ends with a catchy tune and dance, where Harris sings with 20 cheery kids: "My body's nobody's body but mine, you run your own body, let me run mine."

The video was uploaded onto YouTube by a user named Craig Anderson. He claims that when he first uploaded it, he was hit with a copyright infringement notice from "Rolf Harris Productions".

- Sydney Morning Herald

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