I’m looking forward to hearing views from a consultation that we are convening in the South West of England to consider the national action plan to tackle child abuse linked to faith or belief.
It sets out actions decided on by a Working Group chaired by the Department for Education. It aims to address certain kinds of child abuse, including belief in witchcraft, spirit possession, demons or the devil, the evil eye or djinns, dakini, kidoki, ritual or muti murders and use of fear of the supernatural to make children comply with being trafficked for domestic slavery or sexual exploitation.
There are various targets for these action plans: engaging communities, empowering practitioners, supporting victims and witnesses and improving communication.
This is a very important, albeit well hidden activity, that causes many children fear and suffering. The link to faith and belief is strong in some communities but the net result is always an abused child. We don’t know how many children have been subjected to this in the South West of England, but even if there were only a few, this would still be a very important meeting. The community needs to be prepared however as there have been certain high profile cased that have emerged that previously were concealed from the authorities.
Get in touch if you have any views on the subject.by