Huge rise in UK child abuse through witchcraft and ‘religious rituals’ – police
Child abuse linked to witchcraft and other religious beliefs has drastically increased in UK, with police recording a significant spike in cases involving rape, physical assault and neglect of British children.
According to figures released by police on Wednesday, Scotland Yard received 27 allegations of ritual child abuse, with many more cases believed to be hidden by families and guardians.
The cases reported to the Metropolitan Police included children who were swung around and “smacked” in order to “drive out the devil,” while others were said to have raw chillies rubbed into their eyes during exorcism rituals.
In 2013, 24 cases of religiously-motivated abuse were recorded, while only nine were recorded in 2011. Some 149 cases of child abuse through exorcism rituals have been reported to the police since 2004.
“Abuse linked to belief is a horrific crime which is condemned by people of all cultures, communities and faiths,” said Detective Superintendent Terry Sharpe, adding that ritual child abuse was “a hidden crime”.
“Families or carers genuinely believe that the victim has been completely taken over by the devil or an evil spirit, which is often supported by someone who within the community has portrayed themselves as an authority on faith and belief,” he added.
The findings come despite government efforts to tackle religiously-driven child abuse, notably through the “Every Child Matters” initiative launched in 2003.
An undated handout picture obtained from Metropolitan Police on March 2, 2012 shows murdered teenager Kristy Bamu. (AFP Photo/Metropolitan Police)An undated handout picture obtained from Metropolitan Police on March 2, 2012 shows murdered teenager Kristy Bamu. (AFP Photo/Metropolitan Police)
The policy came as a result of the murder of Victoria Climbié, who was subject to repeated bouts of physical abuse by her guardians, including being burnt with cigarettes and hit with heavy bike chains. read more…