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Four cases of child abuse linked to faith every day in UK

The data in the Children in Need Census shows there were 1,460 cases of Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief for the year ending 31st March 2017.

This periodically taken census about services being provided across the country to children includes practices around 'spirit possession' and 'witchcraft'. Sometimes the term 'witch' is used to signify the belief that a child is able to use an evil force to harm others.

In all these cases, genuine beliefs can be held by families, carers, and the children themselves that evil forces are at work that are threatening them, and abuse often occurs when an attempt is made to 'exorcise' or 'deliver' the child.

This type of abuse has traumatic effects on children ranging from bruises and scars to psychological problems and sometimes results in death.

CCPAS joined with the Victoria Climbie Foundation and Manchester Metropolitan University to carry out this ground breaking research and concluded that community organisations lack confidence defining and identifying this form of abuse.

Justin Humphreys, Executive Director of Safeguarding at CCPAS, told Premier that there was clear evidence that the Government now needed to get involved, stating:

"There's a lot that can be done but I think the key thing is that we really need some government backing at the highest level, the Department for Education specifically for us to actually make significant impact now."

CCPAS is an independent Christian charity providing professional safeguarding advice and support across church denominations and organisations throughout the UK.

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