Witchcraft-based child abuse: Action plan launched

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The government has launched an action plan to tackle child abuse linked to witchcraft or religion in England.


High-profile cases include the murders of Kristy Bamu and Victoria Climbie but experts fear much more abuse is hidden.

The key aims are to raise awareness and set out “urgent practical steps to identify and protect children at risk”.

Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said: “Child abuse is appalling and unacceptable wherever it occurs and whatever form it takes.

“Abuse linked to faith or belief in spirits, witchcraft or possession is a horrific crime, condemned by people of all cultures, communities and faiths – but there has been a ‘wall of silence’ around its scale and extent.

“There can never be a blind eye turned to violence or emotional abuse or even the smallest risk that religious beliefs will lead to young people being harmed.”

The government says that cases of adults inflicting physical violence or emotional harm on children they regard as witches or possessed by evil spirits occur across the world, often in sub-sects of major religions, such as Christianity.

The action plan follows the murder of 15-year-old Kristy Bamu in Newham in December 2010 for which his sister Magalie and her boyfriend Eric Bikubi were convicted.

Kristy, was accused by Bikubi of practising “kindoki” or witchcraft and casting spells, during a visit over Christmas. He suffered appalling abuse and torture for three days before drowning in a bath.

Written By: BBC News
continue to source article at bbc.co.uk

15 COMMENTS

  1. About time.
    My thoughts about this really echo Tim Loughton’s quote

    Child abuse is appalling and unacceptable wherever it occurs and whatever form it takes.

    Abuse that occurs as a result of supernatural beliefs in non-existant entities and subjects, just makes all the more worse in my view

  2. “Witchcraft-based child abuse” seems a bit misleading to me.

    I thought that the child abuse was based on the tenets of witchcraft (whatever that may mean; I presumed Wicca), not that people were abused by general faith heads because the victims were believed to be practicing witchcraft.

    It’s like calling the Holocaust ‘Judaism-based genocide’. Gives the wrong idea as to who’s the perpetrator and who’s the victim.

    [Edit 15/08/12-1715 - Additions below]

    Ok, let me rephrase that, people usually get in a tizzy whenever the Holocaust is mentioned.

    The way it’s phrased now is like calling kids abused by religious parents because they don’t believe in god ‘Atheism-based child abuse’. Gives the wrong impression.

    Anvil’s suggested title is more accurate.

  3.  “Abuse linked to faith or belief in spirits, witchcraft or possession is
    a horrific crime, condemned by people of all cultures, communities and
    faiths”

    LOL, what a bunch of brazen bollocks.

  4. “Abuse linked to faith or belief in spirits, witchcraft or possession is a horrific crime, condemned by people of all cultures, communities and faiths – but there has been a ‘wall of silence’ around its scale and extent.

    Of course. The problem is the definition of ‘abuse’ in some cultures, communities and faiths. Every Jew will say that mutilating a child is abuse, but most will argue that circumcision is not mutilation, but a covenant with a god. Buddhist monks would never stone an adultress, but some have no problem with waterboarding a ‘possessed’ girl. Etc. etc.

    Cultural relativism only goes so far. Some cultural habits are fine, but abuse is abuse, no matter what colour of paper it’s wrapped up in.

  5. It’s so much more than ‘abuse’ though.

    I have heard a few comments lately that we should be exchanging the word ‘abuse’ for the word ‘torture’, so as to be more accurate about the effects felt by the victims. I’m inclined to agree that we should use the word torture. The word  abuse’ is just too wishy-washy..too soft to accurately describe the pain & fear suffered and the long-term adverse effects..

  6. Let’s stop trying to understand cultural mores. Let’s stop worrying about the sensibilities of people who consider supernatural traditions before the welfare of our fellow humans. Let’s demand loudly and clearly the right that no person may be harmed in the name of superstition. Let’s do this by asking RDFRS to write an open letter to the UK government, signed by as many prominent people as can be persuaded, and backed by a petition signed by as many people as possible. Let’s do this now.

    PrayForMe

  7. The terms used remind me of the “satanic abuse” scandal. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S

    I wonder if the meme’s been revived, and the govt is playing to that?

    That’s not to say that there aren’t real problems caused by belief in witches, but the way it’s phrased it could easily be interpreted to mean the problem is caused by people who believe they can use witchcraft, or that they are somehow culpable.

  8. Time for the government to impose strict control on the primitive practices imported by alien cultures.
    Female genital mutilation,forced marriages,consanguinous marriages,and honour killing.
    I was gratified by the 23 years handed out to a Pakistani taxi driver and his wife for murdering his daughter.
    Political correctness dogma must be thrown in the bin as there have been recent reports of it intimidating the action of the police.

  9. The idea is right but the titular name is all wrong, say it for what it is religious based child-abuse it is religion not witchcraft is causing the suffering and then death of these children and until people face up to this things will struggle to improve.

  10. ‘Abuse linked to faith or belief in spirits, witchcraft or possession is a
    horrific crime, condemned by people of all cultures, communities and
    faiths’

    Are we to translate this as: ‘superstition which generates criminal physical abuse of children is condemned by some other people whose own superstitions generate other kinds of child abuse’?

    Pot, kettle?

  11. Perhaps they could post a notice in immigration offices (both at home and abroad) that anyone abusing a child will, after due treatment by the courts of law, be deported, have all their children taken away from them, and never be allowed again into the country.  Explanations of what is covered by the term ‘abuse’ could be posted.  That might help deal with those immigrants who do this kind of thing.  Home-grown child abusers can’t be deported, but they could have all their children taken away, permanently.   Of course, this does nothing to stop child abuse in other countries, only at home.

  12. I thought the same thing. I hope they are not going to repeat the errors made back then. I’m all for protecting children but sometimes the children have to be protected from - well meaning – child protectors. I can imagine that it might be hard to keep your head cool when ever a suspected child abuse case is brought to bare but it is of the essence.  
     
    Lets hope people can keep their heads cool.

  13. “Abuse linked to faith or belief in spirits, witchcraft or possession is a horrific crime, condemned by people of all cultures, communities and faiths – but there has been a ‘wall of silence’ around its scale and extent”
    More politically correct nonsense. And apparently the news is anti-religious. Ha! This just proves they’ll try as hard as they can to censor religion from crimes that were caused by religion. 

  14. Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said:
    “ … Abuse linked to faith … condemned by people of all cultures, communities and faiths …”

    Except, Minister, for those cultures, communities and faiths who embrace these beliefs.  

    But you don’t have the balls to say that, do you?

    Therefore you will fail.

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