Government launches action plan to tackle faith-based abuse
The government has published an action plan to tackle child abuse linked to faith or belief.
Drawn up by a National Working Group of faith leaders, charities (including Trust for London), the Metropolitan Police, and statutory partners, the plan calls for closer engagement with local communities and places of worship to prevent abuse.
It proposes stronger training and information for social workers, police and other frontline practitioners working with children; and better access to psychological and therapeutic support for victims.
It also sets out work to secure prosecutions by improving support for victims to give evidence in court cases and better awareness of how faith-based abuse links to related crimes, including trafficking, missing children and sexual exploitation or grooming.
The action plan builds on the work of the Trust's Safeguarding Children's Rights special initiative, which supported community-based work to tackle abuse linked to beliefs in spirit possession and witchcraft. The National Working Group includes four charities that were funded through the Trust's initiative: AFRUCA, CCPAS, Congolese Family Centre and the Victoria Climbie Foundation.
Rachael Takens-Milne, Grants Manager at the Trust and member of the National Working Group said:
Trust for London welcomes the publication of the action plan and Government's recognition of the seriousness of witchcraft/spirit possession abuse and the gaps in our response to it. We are delighted that the Trust and organisations we funded to undertake groundbreaking work on this issue have been integral to developing the plan. This is a great opportunity to build on the successful pilot approaches we have supported in London.
We are continuing to invest in addressing this marginalised issue. However, it is critical that the commitments in the action plan are matched by financial resources from local and national government, as well as from other independent funders.
Find out more about the Trust's work on abuse linked to beliefs in witchcraft and spirit possession.